In a move that appears to be a play toward a white middle American male base that has been whining about the network becoming too political as of late, ESPN has reached out and procured the services of a man who some may feel was fired for his political speech – country music singer Hank Williams, Jr.
Williams provided Monday Night Football’s signature lead-in song since 1998, before being fired in 2011. His version of “Are You Ready For Some Football?” was expunged after he appeared on Fox and Friends and compared then President Barack H. Obama to Adolf Hitler in admonishing the president and then-Republican House Speak John Boehner for playing golf together.
It would be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli leader] Benjamin Netanyahu, he then explained on Fox News Fox & Friends. He also referred to Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden as the enemy.
Hank Williams Jr. talks politics and music with Fox & Friends
Political commentary for artists of any kind has always been risky. But mentioning a black president, a Jewish world leader and Hitler in the same breath is usually a career killer. But this move by ESPN comes after months of complaints and allegations about the sports network pushing a progressive agenda, and in a national political environment that has become very sensitive to white male apologist sensibilities. So much so that Hank Williams Jr’s statement doesn’t sound so bad by comparison. And that’s bad for society, honestly.
Im sure therell be some [backlash], but Im not concerned,said Stephanie Druley, ESPNs senior vice president of events and studio production. It was the right time. We discussed it internally and it was just the right time to bring him back.