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October 21, 2014

ESPN Fires Hank Williams Jr. After Controversial Comments

by Alex Moaba, posted Oct 6th 2011 11:15AM
America will soon be looking for another way to get ready for some football.

ESPN announced today that it had formally cut ties with country singer Hank Williams Jr., whose song 'All My Rowdy Friends' served as the intro to the network's 'Monday Night Football' broadcast. Williams, and the song had been temporarily suspended by the network for this week's Bucs vs. Colts game in the wake of comments he made on 'Fox & Friends' comparing President Obama to Hitler.

"We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr.," ESPN said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue."

However, on Williams' blog, the singer claimed he was not in fact fired, but had resigned.
"After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision," Williams wrote. "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."

Check out a clip of Williams' controversial statement below:

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11 Comments

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mommysdime

Won't miss him...looking forward to the change.

October 11 2011 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shadowracer

The worst part is that now they need a replacement, and its probably going to be someone that makes terrible music like will.i.am or nickleback.

October 06 2011 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christopher

Hank, dude:
"Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

You're still allowed to say whatever you want. There is no law preventing you from doing so. ESPN is also within their right to free speech by saying they disagree with what you said and removing you from their network. ESPN has done nothing to the first Amendment other than exercise it the same as you did with your remarks on FOX News. ESPN is not Congress. ESPN has passed no law preventing you from saying whatever you want.

This isn't the first time someone that gets fired for angering their employer has claimed their free speech has been violated. It's also not the first time someone has been wrong. You can legally say whatever you want, it's a basic principle of our country, but you have to be willing to accept the consequences for your speech. If you compare a public figure, or anyone for that matter, to Hitler, there's going to be repercussions. Whether you're employer decides your services are no longer required, to someone thinking that your hyperbole is offensive and a distraction for honest discourse. Even if what you meant was that the two of them playing golf was a bad idea because of how diametrically opposed their viewpoints are, that should be what you say.

Unless the person you're referring to is mass murdering an entire race of people, you shouldn't be comparing them to Hitler. Hitler was Hitler. Hopefully we never see the like again.

October 06 2011 at 1:40 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Ron C

ESPN is a wuss! No one would want them to be the censor of anything! They're practicing the golden rule, the guy with the gold makes the rules!

October 06 2011 at 1:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Raider Duck

Hank Jr. came off like blubbering old redneck fool. Even when the Fox people tried to bail him out and give him a chance to say "Look, I didn't mean it like" and substitute in another analogy, he wouldn't take it.

Does Hank even realize that he's known for three things nowadays: Being Hank Williams' son, being Hank 3's estranged dad, and doing the MNF theme? The man himself hasn't had a good song since...the Carter administration, methinks.

October 06 2011 at 12:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mr. Stielper

He did NOT compare ZerO to Hitler. He used an analogy to describe the uselessness of two diametrically opposed people thinking there could be common ground. Disney is stupid.

October 06 2011 at 11:33 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mr. Stielper's comment
shadowracer

Zer0??? You realize that's a totally badass nickname right?

October 06 2011 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bayportbob

i am announcing that i will never watch monday night football again. it is about the game and not about someone reacting as did ESPN/ABC/Disney to someone's free speech. i am sure that in william's contract it did not say that he could not state an opinion that some will disagree with. i thank abc/espn/disney for their years of providing me with the video coverage of the game. thanks for making monday night football more than just about the game abc/espn/disney, siriusXM will provide my monday night football coverage from here on out.

October 06 2011 at 11:25 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bayportbob's comment
Jimmy

Aren't you guilty of the same thing? If it's all about the game why do you care?

October 06 2011 at 1:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jimmy's comment
bayportbob

jimmy, you are right and that was my point, if it is only about the game..... then why care. it obviously goes deeper than what espn/abc/disney said and that is what is bothersome to me about this whole episode.

October 06 2011 at 3:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
shadowracer

Puhlease, you'll back after spending 6 minutes in your truck.

October 06 2011 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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