Sports network ESPN announced on Thursday that they are officially parting ways with Hank Williams Jr. and his “All My Rowdy Friends” song which has opened Monday Night Football for two decades.
The decision was made after Williams compared President Obama to Hitler, a comment he later apologized for after ESPN had pulled his Monday night promo spot.
In a statement released on Thursday ESPN revealed:
“We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr,” while adding, ”We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”
Hank Williams Jr. claims he made the decision:
“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision,” he wrote. “By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.”
All My Rowdy Friends has opened Monday Night Football since 1991 on both ESPN and ABC.
I personally would like to point out that ESPN didn’t “step on the toes of the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech” as ESPN as a business has the right to protect their image in any way they see fit. It sounds to me like Hank needs to educate himself a little bit, moreover it was obviously ESPN’s decision to drop the partnership as they had already pulled the ad and released public statements as to their decision days before Hank made any type of “choice.”
Are you sad to see All My Rowdy Friends leave the opening spot for MNF? I have to agree with ESPN that it’s all about the football, not about a song that opens the game.