A song based on a theme from country music legend Hank Williams Jr, has been the theme song of Monday Night Football (on ABC and then EPSN) for 23 seasons, but “Are You Ready For Some Football” won’t be heard tonight after the performer potentially libeled President Obama on right-wing commentary channel Fox News this morning.

ESPN made the following statement:

“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.”

Saying Williams, Jr. is not an employee is splitting hairs. I’m sure he’s collecting a nice sum everytime that song is performed or he puts in a personal appearance.

Executives at ESPN decided to pull the traditional opening song segment for tonight’s NFL game after Williams, Jr., compared President Obama to Hitler. That comment is definitely off the reservation, so pulling the song is the right move. How long will the suspension last? ESPN executives say they’re meeting to discuss the issue later.

Given Williams, Jr.’s long history with Monday Night Football, I hope that he’d be expected to make a genuine apology before Disney returns his song to the show. I don’t think another beer summit is required, the President has other things to worry about, but it might be a nice gesture.

(via TampaBay News)