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            Hank Williams Stirs Controversy with Comments

 Last night on Monday Night Football something was noticeably missing at the beginning of the show. Hank Williams Jr. and his video intro to Monday Night Football was missing prior to the game between the Colts and the Buccaneers. Williams and his song “All My Rowdy Friends” has served as the intro for Monday Night Football for last 23 seasons. Williams was pulled prior to ESPN Monday Night Football because of comments he made about President Obama on the morning television show “Fox and Friends.”

Williams was asked about his view on both presidential candidates in the upcoming election. He replied “Nobody.” Then he made a comment that was inappropriate about Obama’s golf outing with House Speaker John Boehner. He was turned off by the golf outing .When asked why he said, “Come on! It’d be like Hitler playing golf with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.” While sports and politics should not mix this statement was a big story because Hank Williams Jr is seen as the face of Monday Night Football.

ESPN after reading his comments pulled his intro and expressed their disappointment in Williams’ comments. ESPN just pulled the spot for one game and the network has not decided if it will be permanent. ESPN in their statement about putting Williams’ back on ESPN prior to the games said, “It will be based on how contrite the singer-songwriter is in the future.”

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Williams released a statement last night explaining his was misunderstood. “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 ridiculous that pairing was.” Williams was upset at the fact the Obama, Boehner, Biden, and Republican Governor John Kasich were playing gold during the height of the congressional budget debate while people still did not have jobs.

Whether you agree or disagree with Williams’ comments about what is going on with the issues in the world today, comparing any person to Hitler will get any person, no matter if they are regular person on the street or a public figure, in trouble for those comments. Public figures, entertainers, sports figures, celebrities need to curtail their comments and to think prior to speaking. No person should be denied freedom of speech, but everyone is subject to reactions, impact, and result of their actions or statements. As Herman Edwards of ESPN says, “Think before you Tweet or speak because if it is juicy enough it will end on Sportscenter.” Hank Williams Jr made a mistake in what he said about the President and his comparison which is something no public figure should say. Sometimes there is a thin line between what is appropriate and inappropriate, but disparaging remarks are inexcusable.

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