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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 01:09 PM ET, 10/06/2011

Hank Williams Jr. and the perils of talking

Hank Williams Jr. should stick to singing, preferably singing about simple things like getting ready for some football.

’Cause when this guy talks or writes, he embarrasses himself and those with whom he associates. That would be ESPN, which has just announced the termination of its arrangement with Williams as the intro-person to “Monday Night Football” (MNF). The sports network wisely cut ties with the entertainer following his stupid remarks in which he analogized President Obama playing golf with John Boehner to “Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.”

Lots of folks hung themselves up on the technicalities of what Williams said. Did he really liken the president to Hitler, or was he just trying to make a point about polar opposites sharing a game of golf? Such hairsplitting overlooked the point, which is that Williams came off like a dolt and his stupid MNF song isn’t that catchy to begin with. So what’s the benefit of keeping this guy around?

When people get axed, they tend to show the world their true nature. If that’s the case with Williams, ESPN can rest assured that it made a good decision. Here’s a statement from the singer’s website:

AFTER ESPN SUSPENDS HANK JR. FOR ONE-WEEK, HANK JR. DECIDES TO PULL HIS SONG FROM BEING USED ON ESPN FOR REMAINDER OF SEASON!
“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. 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.” -- Hank Williams Jr

Williams is entitled to his opinion as to what kind of “run” it’s been. But he should know that First Amendment protections against government incursions on free expression have nothing to do with what happened with ESPN. He should also know that Hitler . . . ah, forget it.

By  |  01:09 PM ET, 10/06/2011

 
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