Williams came out swinging, claiming he disliked all of the Republican contenders in the presidential race and calling the much-hyped “golf summit” between President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner “one of the greatest political mistakes ever.” He also called Obama and Vice President Joe Biden “the enemies.”
Then, he went even further off the deep end. “That would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu. Not hardly. In the shape this country is in?” The whole appearance was bizarre and Williams seemed off.
While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.
After the scale of his damaging comments became clear, Williams issued his own statement.
“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.”
Often times when people say the Tea Party is racist, it’s because they say racist things. Comparing Obama and Hitler has no legitimacy at all and doesn’t serve any purpose in our political discourse. See Hank Williams Jr.’s comments below: