By Lucas Shaw
NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) – “Are you ready for some football?” That question has greeted “Monday Night Football” viewers for some 20 years, but as of Monday it has been retired.
ESPN decided on Monday to remove “All My Rowdy Friends,” Hank Williams Jr.’s iconic theme song for “Monday Night Football,” from the broadcast due to controversial comments the country singer made on Fox News.
ESPN has issued the following statement: “While Hank Williams Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize he is closely linked to our company through the opening to ‘Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”
In an interview on Fox’s morning show, “Fox and Friends,” Williams, an outspoken Republican, compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.
Williams was criticizing Obama for playing golf with House Speaker John Boehner over the summer, saying it was like “Hitler playing golf with Benjamin Netanyahu.
He later dubbed Obama and Vice President Biden “the enemy.”
ESPN has always tried to remain politically neutral and has rules regarding its on-air talent. As the company’s statement points out, Williams is not an ESPN employee.
However, ESPN acted quickly to quell any potential controversy.