WASHINGTON, District of Columbia—ESPN executives apparently have developed either amnesia or dementia—maybe both—and thus will return Hank Williams Jr. to perform his popular All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night opening theme song on Monday Night Football (MNF) broadcasts for the upcoming National Football League season, but the Black Lives Matter organization plans to refresh their memories.
ESPN drop-kicked the legendary country music superstar and his song from MNF broadcasts during the 2011 season after Mr. Williams made inflammatory comments comparing then-President Barack Obama to Germany Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Now Mr. Williams will reappear with a new version of All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night beginning with the first MNF game on September 11 between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings.
However, Black Lives Matter activists have initiated a change.org online petition to create public outrage in order, hopefully, to compel The Walt Disney Company, the parent company of ESPN, to punt Mr. Williams from MNF again.
In the petition, the pro-black activists accuse ESPN of being a “bootlicker to the racist, anti-black, Trump-created MAGA [make America great again] mania currently infecting America.”
“So they want us to believe in 2017 that the most popular musician they could find is a one-hit-wonder, still-living-off-his-daddy’s-name, washed-up, racist redneck,” Iyabo Melton, Head Blacktivist with Black Lives Matter Local 729 in Baltimore, said via a Skype interview on a smartphone.
So they want us to believe in 2017 that the most popular musician they could find is a one-hit-wonder, still-living-off-his-daddy’s-name, washed-up, racist redneck…
“We’re not buying it. Clearly, ESPN is trying to lick the asses of Trump and his alt-right, alt-ignorant, racist base,” she added.
Ms. Melton said so far the petition has been slow in meeting the 10-million signature goal the group set. She attributed the unresponsiveness to black people not paying much attention to summertime sports because they are “played with white balls by white people.”
“Summertime sports like baseball, tennis, golf, beach volleyball use white balls so mostly white people play them, whereas the winter sports like football and basketball are played with dark brown balls by mostly black folks.”
Summertime sports like baseball, tennis, golf, beach volleyball use white balls so mostly white people play them, whereas winter sports like football and basketball are played with dark brown balls by mostly black folks.
Ms. Melton disagrees with ESPN reasoning that All My Rowdy Friends Are Here On Monday Night is indispensable to MNF because during its 22-year run—1989 to 2011—it helped created the current identity and popularity of MNF.
“Well, slavery was very popular and helped created the identity of the United Sates, but we’re not going to let them take us back there, although it seems ESPN wants to join with Trump in doing that,“ Ms. Melton asserted.
The group launched the change.org petition in early June but have yet to scratch the 10,000 signature mark.
Nonetheless, according to Ms. Melton, the group plans to launch a social media campaign in “thousands of pro-black lives matter media” to reach the 10-million signature goal before the broadcast of the first MNF game.
When reached via telephone at their Bristol, Connecticut, headquarters, an ESPN spokeswoman refused to comment on the Black Lives Matter movement in general or the change.org petition.
Aaron “Big Boy” Williams reports on sports and entertainment.