ESPN says it has severed its relationship with singer Hank Williams Jr.
“We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years,” the network said in a statement released Thursday. The success of ‘Monday Night Football’ has always been about the games and that will continue.”
Williams, the 62-year-old son of the legendary country singer Hank Williams and a widely popular entertainer himself, compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, a remark that prompted controversy and resulted in “Monday Night Football” pulling his popular musical introduction from this week’s game.
The song “All My Rowdy Friends” had been the “Monday Night Football” theme on both ABC and ESPN since 1991.
Williams issued a statement giving a very different version: “After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.”
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