Hank Williams Jr. cut from ESPN’s team for good

By David Edwards
Thursday, October 6, 2011 12:10 EDT
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ESPN announced Thursday that the network had permanently severed ties with Hank Williams Jr. after he publicly compared President Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler.

Bocephus had told the hosts of Fox & Friends Monday that Obama playing golf with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was ‘like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.’

ESPN quickly decided to pull Williams’ song “All My Rowdy Friends” from the opening of Monday Night Football that night, but declined to speculate about the network’s future relationship with the country star.

On Thursday morning, ESPN said it had made the decision to bench Williams for good.

“We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr,” a statement on the network’s website announced. “We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”

On his website, Williams claimed the decision had been his idea.

“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision,” the singer 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.”

The First Amendment does guarantee freedom of speech, but it does not give anyone the right to speak out on a private broadcast network.

Williams had been associated with Monday Night Football since 1989.

Photo credit: Flickr/gongus

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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