ESPN to Ditch Hank Williams Jr. Song Because There Will Be No ‘Rowdy Friends’

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According to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, ESPN decided that singing about a large gathering of friends wasn’t a pandemic-friendly theme. Instead, the broadcast will proceed with a version of Little Richard’s Rip it Up, with instrumental provided by a band called Butcher Brown.

This won’t be the first time Williams Jr. has been dropped by the primetime broadcast. In 2011, ESPN pulled the song after Williams Jr. said that President Obama golfing with then-Speaker of the House John Boehner, was akin to Hitler golfing with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu. ESPN brought the song back in 2017.

It is not yet known whether Williams and his iconic song will return in 2021.

The first edition on Monday Night Football will come on September 14 when the Giants take on the Steelers.