Are you ready for some controversy?
ESPN pulled Hank Williams Jr’s popular song from its broadcast of Monday night’s NFL game after the singer famous for the line “Are you ready for some football?” made a reference to Adolf Hitler when discussing President Barack Obama on Fox News.
The controversy erupted Monday morning when Williams — appearing on Fox & Friends — called the president’s ‘golf summit’ this past summer with House Speaker John Boehner “one of the biggest political mistakes ever.”
Williams then said: “It’d be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”
When asked to explain his analogy, Williams told the Fox hosts that Obama and Vice President Biden are “the enemy.”
ESPN was quick to distance itself from the country singer. In a statement, the network said: “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. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”
Williams then 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.”
The statement goes on to say: “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. 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 did not say whether the intro, synonymous with Monday Night Football since 1989, would be used again or nixed.