- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
ESPN pulls intro after Williams’ Obama comments
BRISTOL, CONN. (AP) - ESPN pulled Hank Williams Jr.’s classic intro song from its broadcast of Monday night’s NFL game after the country singer famous for the line “Are you ready for some football?” used an analogy to Adolf Hitler in discussing President Barack Obama.
In an interview Monday morning on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Williams, unprompted, said of Obama’s outing on the links with House Speaker John Boehner: “It’d be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”
Asked to clarify, Williams said, “They’re the enemy,” adding that by “they” he meant Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Anchor Gretchen Carlson later said to him, “You used the name of one of the most hated people in all of the world to describe, I think, the president.” Williams replied, “Well, that is true. But I’m telling you like it is.”
“While Hank Williams Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to `Monday Night Football,’” the network said in a statement. “We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”
Williams released a statement through his publicist, saying: “Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. My analogy was extreme _ but it was to make a point. 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. I have always respected the office of the president.”
ESPN did not say whether the intro, synonymous with “Monday Night Football” since 1989, would be used again after this week’s Colts- Buccaneers game.
“Every time the media brings up the tea party it’s painted as racist and extremists _ but there’s never a backlash _ no outrage to those comparisons,” Williams’ statement continued. “Working-class people are hurting _ and it doesn’t seem like anybody cares. When both sides are high-fiving it on the ninth hole when everybody else is without a job _ it makes a whole lot of us angry. Something has to change. The policies have to change.”
ESPN covered the story during “SportsCenter” and the pregame show but did not mention the song’s absence at the start of the game telecast when fans would normally be hearing “Are you ready for some football?” Instead of a music video, viewers just saw clips of both teams and heard a voice-over about the matchup.
The song “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” is a remixed version of his 1984 hit “All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight.” The version won Williams four Emmy Awards in the early 1990s as the opening theme to “Monday Night Football,” then on ABC.
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Unanimous Senate passes bill on military sex assault to give victims more say in prosecution
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again