October 5, 2011
Bad for ESPN's image
Hank Williams Jr. is free to speak his mind, as he should be. But if you are ESPN, you have to ask whether you want someone with his opinions and history representing your company.
In his most recent remarks, Williams showed utter insensitivity and terrible judgment. It's OK to disagree with politicians and their policies. Comparing them to Hitler is going a tad far.
This is not the first time he has created headlines for the wrong reasons. He also was charged with assault for trying to choke a waitress in 2006. Williams has made such a spectacle of himself that you wonder if from now on every time we hear him sing, "Are you ready for some football?" we'll think of Nazis instead of Patriots.
A teachable moment
Shannon J. Owens
So the "Monday Night Football" guy is a bonehead? Also in breaking news, Kim Kardashian wasn't a virgin before she married Kris Humphries.
I respect ESPN's decision to drop Hank Williams Jr.'s song.
But in the broader perspective, I don't think anyone was looking to the "Are You Ready For Some Football" guy for moral direction. The better point to focus on is why Fox News gave a platform to Williams to speak on politics when his expertise (and I use the word loosely) is clearly in entertainment.
But this could be a teachable moment. If ESPN gives him another chance, perhaps, Williams could learn about something he clearly doesn't possess right now — tolerance.
Sell 'crazy' elsewhere
ESPN and "Monday Night Football" don't need Hank Williams Jr., or his rowdy friends.
Williams has the free-speech right to compare President Obama to Adolph Hitler and to call Obama and Vice President Joe Biden "the enemy." And ESPN is entitled to remove Williams from its MNF telecasts.
And please don't make this a Republican-Democrat issue. Linking an American president to Hitler is offensive regardless of his politics. Fox News' anchors certainly were baffled by Williams during his appearance on the network. They gave him every chance to backpedal, but he kept digging deeper. As Jack Nicholson's said in "As Good As It Gets": "Go sell crazy someplace else."
Don't scrub the intro
Los Angeles Times
In the first place, I don't think of Hank Williams Jr. as the voice of "Monday Night Football."
The guy made a dumb analogy on a news show — why was he being interviewed for his opinion on politics anyway? — and now we're wringing our hands and feeling obligated to react.
Don't we have more important things to worry about? The guy has an opinion and a right to that opinion, no matter how wacked out it might be. We should stop investing so much energy into worrying about what celebrities say, just because they're celebrities. Just promise me this: Don't interview Faith Hill on her political opinions, whatever those might be. I like that intro and don't want to see it scrubbed.
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