I am not a fan of country music. I was forced to listen to it growing up because my dad played bass in countless country bands and I was always the "free help" that got to load and unload all of the equipment. So I spent countless hours in bars in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas as a kid trying to find a TV to hook my Sega Genesis up to while listening to country music till 1:00 am. Covers of Hank Williams Jr's songs were always crowd favorites and I have to say that they grew on me after awhile. Growing up as a football fan the MNF theme song became a part of my life as everyone got together for MNF. It was a great way to let you know that the weekly wait was over. The "All My Rowdy Friends" MNF remix was a great way to get you pumped to watch football and I have loved hearing that song right before kickoff for twenty years.
I was saddened to hear the news of what happened with Hank this week. I was even more saddened and angry of why he will no longer be seen on Monday night. I'm not gonna get into the politics of the matter but if you read exactly how the analogy was stated, it really didn't seem that big of a deal to me and I think it has gotten blown way out of proportion. But ESPN is a private entity and they reserve the right to fire their employees as they see fit. Was it right to fire Hank? Not in my opinion. Could it have been handled differently? Of course it could have. Should Hank have used a better analogy? Definitely. Hank is entitled to his opinion and apparently ESPN didn't care for his opinion too much. Apparently ESPN doesn't want people to view them in a negative aspect or be represented by people who say things that spark controversy. I then started to wonder if ESPN had been in similar situations before and if they had, how did they handle it? Well it turns out that they have been in similar situations before and they didn't always handle it the same way with some of their current employees.
Brent Musberger: On October 5, 2010, Musburger told a class of college journalism students at the University Of Montana that professional athletes under a doctor's supervision could potentially use steroids to improve performance. He said that steroid use should have no place in high school athletics, but also said: Under the proper care and [a] doctor's advice, they could be used at the professional level. Here's the truth about steroids: they work. [Someone told me that] steroids should be banned because they're not healthy for you. Let's go find out. What do the doctors actually think about anabolic steroids and [their] use by athletes? [We shouldn't] have a preconceived notion that this is right or this is wrong.
Colin Cowherd: Cowherd was criticized for comments made regarding the circumstances surrounding Sean Taylor's death. On November 28, 2007, one day after Taylor's home invasion murder, Cowherd claimed that Taylor's past had brought this upon himself, and that Redskins fans who mourned him were not "grown ups." Cowherd stated about Taylor's turnaround; "Well, yeah, just because you clean the rug doesn't mean you got everything out. Sometimes you've got stains, stuff so deep it never ever leaves." Taylor's death was later found to be the result of a botched robbery, and the robbers hadn't known Taylor was home when they entered.
Matt Millen: On April 24, 2010, at the 2010 NFL Draft, Millen apparently referred to fellow ESPN commentator Ron Jaworski using a racial term after which he made an on-air apology, stating that he "didn't mean anything" by the remark. Millen also made several slurs to former Lions and then Chiefs wide receiver Johnnie Morton after a game at Arrowhead Stadium in 2003 while he was still the Lions GM. ESPN hired him regardless of the incident.
Dana Jacobson: At a roast for co-workers Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic in January 2008, an allegedly intoxicated Jacobson reportedly cursed the University of Notre Dame, Jesus, and Touchdown Jesus. ESPN and Jacobson both released a statement apologizing for any offense given to those offended by the comments. Jacobson was suspended from ESPN for one week. Upon returning from her suspension, she apologized on air for her behavior and comments. No video or transcript of the roast was ever released.
Bob Ryan: In May 2003, Ryan appeared on Sports Final, a local sports talk show airing on WBZTV. At that time, Ryan said that Joumana Kidd, then-wife of then-New Jersey guard Jason Kidd needed someone to "smack" her for taking her son T.J., then 4 years old, to NBA play-off night games where they could be taunted. He accused Joumana of being an exhibitionist and using the child as a prop to get television time. The show's host, Bob Lobel asked Ryan to retract his statement immediately. The comments struck a chord because in 2001, Joumana Kidd had been the victim of domestic violence by her husband, Jason Kidd.
Now are these incidents better or worse than what Hank Williams did? That's up for debate, but everyone got to keep their job.