Just breaking now, ESPN has announced that it will no longer use Hank Williams, Jr.’s iconic “Are You Ready For Some Football” open in the wake of his controversial comments to Fox News earlier this week.
Last Monday, ESPN made a statement about Williams’ analogy comparing a golf summit between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner to a golf meeting between Adolf Hitler and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu. It subsequently pulled the open and was quiet on the matter until now. Williams apologized the day after for his comments, but apparently it was not enough. We have the statement from ESPN.
ESPN statement on Hank Williams, Jr. – 10/6/11
“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 has sung the open in one version or another since 1989 on MNF either on ABC or ESPN. That association with Monday Night Football has ended as of today. We’re waiting on a statement from Hank Williams, Jr. When it becomes available, it’ll be posted here.
UPDATE, 10:50 a.m.: We have a couple of tweets from ESPN PR man Mike Soltys who has given us a couple of statements outside the official on provided by the network.
And this one:
And we have dueling statements from ESPN saying it was a mutual decision to pull the open while Hank Williams, Jr. says the decision was all his. The end result is that you’ll no longer see Hank Williams, Jr. at the beginning of Monday Night Football