*Hank Williams Jr. issued an official apology on his website and Facebook page Tuesday, one day after ESPN pulled his introductory song for Monday Night Football after the singer used an analogy involving Adolf Hitler and President Barack Obama to make a political point.
In an interview Monday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Williams, unprompted, said of Obama’s golf outing with House Speaker John Boehner: “It’d be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”
Asked to clarify, Williams said, “They’re the enemy,” adding that by “they” he meant Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Williams backed off Tuesday, writing on Facebook and his website: “The thought of the leaders of both parties jukin and high fiven on a golf course, while so many families are struggling to get by simply made me boil over and make a dumb statement. I am very sorry if it offended anyone.”
ESPN pulled his song, “All My Rowdy Friends,” which has opened Monday Night Football for two decades. In a statement Monday prior to the Indianapolis-Tampa Bay game, ESPN said: “While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”
Williams issued a statement through his publicist on Monday night, saying in part: “Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. My analogy was extreme — but it was to make a point. I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me — how ludicrous that pairing was. They’re polar opposites and it made no sense. They don’t see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the president.”
As for Tuesday’s statement, ESPN had no comment at press time on whether Williams’ song would be used on future telecasts.