Country singer Hank Williams Jr. is being removed from his regular spot on ESPN’s Monday Night Football after comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler in an interview with Fox & Friends.
In a rambling appearance via satellite on FOX News on Monday morning, Williams said that Speaker John Boehener made a “political mistake” by joining Obama on the links for friendly game, because their meeting was “like Hitler playing golf with Benjamin Netanyahu.” Visibly shocked, the FOX & Friends hosts quickly pushed Williams to clarify his statement.
“I just want to say that we disavow any of those comments or analogies that he’s made, at least I’m going to say that, disavow the analogy between Hitler and the president,” co-anchor Gretchen Carlson said after the segment.
Williams Jr. has opened Monday Night Football with his “Are You Ready For Some Football?” song for years, but ESPN announced they were dropping him from tonight’s program within hours of his remarks. It’s unclear when — or if — he will return.
“While Hank Williams Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize he is closely to our company through the opening to Monday Night Football,” the company said in a statement. “We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.