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Posted at 06:31 PM ET, 10/03/2011

ESPN pulls Hank Williams Jr. from ‘Monday Night Football’ for comparing Obama, Hitler (video)


Hank Williams Jr. before the Sept. 12 Monday night opener. (Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images)
Updated at 8:39 p.m. with Williams statement

“Monday Night Football” tonight will not feature Hank Williams Jr. singing, “Are you ready for some football?”

ESPN has decided to pull “All My Rowdy Friends,” the theme song written and performed by Williams, because of comments Williams made today on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” comparing President Barack Obama and Adolf Hitler. (Watch it after the jump.)

“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,’ ” ESPN 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.”

Williams, who has indicated that he may be interested in running for a U.S. Senate seat as a Republican from Tennessee, called the “golf summit” this summer between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner “one of the biggest political mistakes ever” and added: “It would be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Brian Kilmeade said that he did not understand the analogy and Williams replied: “I’m glad you don’t, brother, because a lot of people do. They’re the enemy.” Kilmeade asked Williams who exactly is the enemy and Williams said, “Obama. And Biden. Are you kidding? The Three Stooges.”

Williams went on to say: “We’re more polarized than we’ve ever been, guys, and youknow it. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. We’re polarized!”

Williams released a statement on his website:

“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.”

“Every time the media brings up the tea party it’s painted as racist and extremists – but there’s never a backlash – no outrage to those comparisons…Working class people are hurting – and it doesn’t seem like anybody cares. When both sides are high-fiving it on the ninth hole when everybody else is without a job – it makes a whole lot of us angry.  Something has to change. The policies have to change.”

By  |  06:31 PM ET, 10/03/2011

 
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