It’s unsurprising that after running the gamut of defiance and contrition, Hank Williams, Jr. has responded to ESPN’s displeasure with his comparisons between the Commander and Chief and the Fuhrer by complaining that he’s a victim of censorship:
ESPN said on Thursday that it was its decision to end its long association with the singer, but Williams disputed that notion on his Web site: “After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made my decision. By pulling my opening Oct. 3, you (ESPN) stepped on the toes of the First Amendment freedom of speech, so therefore me, my song and all my rowdy friends are out of here. It’s been a great run.”
Freedom of speech means you’re at liberty to express whatever nonsense you like, not that anyone, particularly a major corporation that relies heavily on black athletes and a non-partisan image to maintain its audience, is required to give you a platform for said nonsense. And given that Hank Williams Sr.’s major influence was an African-American bluesman, and that he helped build white audiences for gospel and blues-inflected music, his son might want to consider how his remarks fit into the family legacy. Class will get you a long way.