ESPN Officially Drops Hank Williams Jr. From "MNF" Following Obama Comments
ESPN today announced it is parting ways with Hank Williams Jr. and will not broadcast the singer’s “Are You Ready For Some Football?” introduction for its “MNF” coverage. ESPN Senior Dir of Communications Bill Hofheimer said the “football-themed tease open that we have been using to start the ‘MNF’ telecast will now air before kickoff.” This Monday’s Bears-Lions matchup features an opening segment narrated by Pro Football HOFer Barry Sanders, and Hofheimer said the telecast “will begin with a quick scene set highlighting the atmosphere at Ford Field.” The Lions are hosting their first Monday night game since October '01. “In between the scene set and tease, we will have preview segments in the booth with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski and a couple of commercial breaks as usual," Hofheimer said. "This is the format we’ll likely use for the remainder of the season.” He said the net has not made any decisions beyond that regarding the use of musicians to fill Williams’ role. Williams on Monday made several disparaging comments about President Obama, including comparing him to Adolf Hitler. The singer had been a part of the “MNF” telecast on ABC and ESPN since '91.