Hank Williams Jr. is heading back to prime time on Monday Night Football.
According to The Tennessean, the country music star will once again welcome fans across the NFL to the Monday night party, six years after his dismissal following controversial comments made about former President Barack Obama.
“I think it’s a return to our past in that it’s such an iconic song associated with football,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN’s senior vice president of events and studio production, to The Tennessean. “It was the original. It belongs to Monday Night Football. It really is about returning to what fans know. It’s a Monday night party and that’s what we’re all hoping to get back to.”
Williams’ famous and controversial remarks were made in response to Obama playing a round of golf with then-Speaker John Boehner. The 68-year-old referred to the former President and his V.P. Joe Biden as “the enemy” during an interview after likening the round of golf to “Hitler playing golf with (Israeli leader) Benjamin Netanyahu.”
While Druley is aware that the network will likely receive backlash for the decision, she iterated that it was the “right time” for his return to iconic program, and after listening to early versions of the song, is confident that it will get fans excited once more for Monday Night Football.
“In listening to the recent cuts that I’ve gotten, it’s phenomenal,” Druley said via The Tennessean. “It just immediately gets you psyched for the game you’re going to watch and for football fans, that’s a big deal. I think people will be really, really excited about it.”
For Williams, he’s just hoping to bring a little bit of joy back to the fans after his long hiatus.
“I hope there will be some happy people on Monday night again,” said the singer. “It feels natural, fulfilling and satisfying at this point when you’ve kind of done it all.”