ESPN has decided to permanently drop the Hank Williams Jr. musical opening for "Monday Night Football," following the musician’s comments on Fox News in which he appeared to compare President Obama to Adolf Hitler, reports The Huffington Post.
In a statement, ESPN said: "We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of ‘Monday Night Football’ has always been about the games and that will continue."
Williams responded on his website after learning of ESPN’s decision, and in effect told ESPN don’t bother firing me, I quit. He wrote: “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.”
As TVWeek previously reported, ESPN pulled Williams’ long-running “Are you ready for some football” opening from this week’s “Monday Night Football” telecast in the immediate aftermath of Williams’ controversial appearance on “Fox & Friends.” At that time it was unclear how long the ban would last, but the latest round of “he said/they said” appears to make it permanent.