Hank Williams Jr. and ESPN Monday Night

By Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: October 12, 2011

OAKLAND, CA. (BASN)–ESPN Monday Night Football will move into the new century in a different direction. We won’t be hearing the catchy phrase “Are you ready for some football…a Monday Night Party?” Monday night October 2, 2011 was different in that they did not have the 20 year lead-in music of Hank Williams Jr. with his cowboy hat and scantily clad women dancing all around him. Did you notice there were no women of color in the video? But as my colleague Cowboy Reggie would say “I digress”.

No politically astute and progressive African American women or men are ready for some football with Hank Williams Jr. leading the band.

Mr. Williams Jr. made comments that President Obama and Vice President Biden were akin to Hitler and that they are the enemy. How did he come to this conclusion? How did he come to this political stance? Is it because Obama is the first African American in the White House? Is it because he is the Commander and Chief? Is it because in 2008 the GOP and the newly formed Tea Party (aka the New KKK) did not think America would vote for a man of darker hue? Now they are mad because they cannot control the political spin.

Mr. Williams Jr. should be asked what the President of the United States has done to him. Has this president killed millions of people?

Has this president spread hate on one group of individuals?

Mr. Obama has done everything possible to restore the country’s financial and political difficulties and still the hate and bigotry streams from the airwaves of America. The President has not started another war he has proceeded with the exit from Iraq and the reduction of the military in Afghanistan; yet still the streams of vile and vitriol fill the airwaves.

America still has not gotten over the Civil War. That was over 200 years ago. The current President of the United States has let the Black cat (pun intended) out of the bag. That cat being underlying racism in this country. It had been simmering and smoldering for years. Now it’s in public. With a Black man at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue some think its o.k. to make racial jokes and racial criticisms of our nation’s leader.

Not much has changed because it’s still o.k. for African American males to entertain America, to serenade America, to make America laugh but please don’t be serious, please don’t advance the wheel of justice and least of all grant the progress of African Americans.

Slick Rick Perry,
political wordsmith

Slick Rick Perry, political wordsmith

The GOP and the Tea Party along with the governor of Texas, Rick Perry running for president states the confederate flag should stay at the state capitol and that Americans should be proud of that history. Where is George C. Wallace when you need him? This is right out of the pages of the Civil Rights Movement. Governor Perry went fishing at a camp sight that had the name “Niggerhead” at the front door. This man wants to be President of the United States. John McEnroe’s response would be “You cannot be serious”.


African American pro football players have not made a statement about the ESPN-Williams Jr. incident. New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony stated that if you’re looking for comments from Black Sports leadership as in the days of Mohammed Ali and Jim Brown it will not be forthcoming because many are afraid to speak out. These players are afraid of losing their starting position and multi-millions in contracts.

The Williams Jr. comments revolves around the issue of respecting African American men in the United States. It revolves around Black quarterbacks; it is directed at Black pitchers, Black managers, and head coaches. these are men of color in leadership positions. Hank Williams Jr. remarks strike at the heart of the issue-RESPECT.

President Obama is our Commander-In-Chief whether Mr. Williams likes it or not. Yet after three years some people still won’t respect the man or the office i.e. GOP, Tea Party, and comments like Mr. Hank Williams Jr. are expected. Now think about this, if President George W. Bush were in office, Mr. Williams Jr. would either be in jail or under heavy surveillance. That is the political and social difference between 2000 and 2010.

The Hank Williams Jr.-ESPN saga might be over as they go their separate ways but Monday Night Football will never be the same. Now the question is who owns the rights to the words “Are you ready for some football a Monday night party? This is just a diversion from the real issue of respecting the office of the President of the United States.

Hank Williams Jr. now claims ESPN violated the right to free speech but does that include the defamation of character, does that include a man with a Harvard degree with a mass murderer in Germany? What do they have in common? A man that has traveled the world and can speak many languages to a man that tried to destroy the world. It does not make sense.

The replacement for Hank Williams Jr. on Monday Night Football’s opening will be Detroit Lions former running back Barry Sanders. ABC, Walt Disney Corporation, and ESPN wanted to cover their tracks quickly and with a non controversial individual. They also wanted to keep their African American audience.

There will be no singing, and no scantily clad women dancing, but various video out-takes of the football stars of today with Barry Sanders voice over just like the early days with Dandy Don, Howard, and Frank. ESPN will not skip a beat and keep moving because that’s what they do best.

One last comment, Fox News, Mr. Williams Jr., the GOP, the Tea Party, and conservative Americans really do not want to witness a Negro moment by Mr. Obama. If they keep pushing they are going to get it full blast.

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod