Hank Jr. opening pulled from MNF over remark
For the first time in nearly two decades, Hank Williams Jr did not ask America "Are You Ready for Some Football?'
That's because ESPN pulled the singer's opening intro before the Indianapolis Colts-Tampa Bay Buccaneeers game over controversial remarks Williams made on Fox News Network's "Fox and Friends" on Monday morning.
On the show, Williams referred to the June golf outing with President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner as being akin to Adolf Hitler playing golf with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"Come on. That'd be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu. Not hardly," Williams said.
Asked to clarify the statement by Fox and Friends' host Brian Kilmeade, and Williams referred to Obama and vice president Joe Biden as the enemy.
Williams later released a statement clarifying his remarks, saying that it was an extreme example, but that he was attempting to show that the two sides will never agree.
"Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. ... I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me -- how ludicrous that pairing was. They're polar opposites, and it made no sense. They don't see eye-to-eye and never will," the statement said in part.
ESPN said that while Williams is not a company employee, it chose to distance itself from his remarks by pulling the open.
The network said that while he "is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to 'Monday Night Football.' We are extremely disappointed with his comments and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight's telecast."
Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com