Mike Ditka: If You Don’t Respect Our Country Then You Shouldn’t Be In This Country Playing Football
Legendary coach Mike Ditka had strong words for the NFL players that were protesting the United States, claiming that it is an oppressive country:
“If you don’t respect our country, then you shouldn’t be in this country playing football.”
Ditka made his comments on Westwood One’s Monday Night Football pregame show with Jim Gray.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, much of the interview focused on the player-led protests of the United States that have been taking place during the pre-game National Anthem.
Some players have tried to backtrack, claiming that the protests have nothing to do with protesting the United States or the American Flag and is only meant to bring attention to the supposed oppression of minorities within the country, however, the original protester, former San Francisco 49 quarterback Colin Kaepernick, made it clear, in the beginning, what the protest was about:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
It doesn’t get any clearer than that.
Mike Ditka said, during his interview, that the players should not be using the games as a platform for their protests,
“I’m not condemning anybody or criticizing anybody. Respect the game. Play the game. When you want to protest, protest when the game is over. Football has been so good to these guys. Enjoy it. Have fun with it.”
He was also critical of the activists who have been protesting the fact that their side lost during the 2016 presidential election.
“You have a ballot box, you have an election. That’s where you protest. You elect the person you want to be in office. And if you don’t get that person in office, I think you respect the other one. Period.”
The coach of the legendary 1985 Chicago Bears said that those who wanted to use the NFL to protest the country should go to another country and try to see if they get the same opportunities that they get in the United States,
“Go to another country and play football. If you had to go somewhere else and try to play the sport, you wouldn’t have a job.”
Finally, Ditka suggested that he has not seen the oppression that these NFL players have been complaining about, at least in the last 100 years.
“There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of. Now maybe I’m not watching it as carefully as other people.”
It was this statement that ignited a firestorm on social media.
A number of people were quick to point out the date 1964 as the date that the Civil Rights Act was passed. There point was that, up until then, there was obvious oppression within the United States. It should be noted that this oppression came, largely, form the Democratic Party, but that’s a discussion for another day.
What’s interesting, is that very few of these critics of Mike Ditka pointed to any oppression that had taken place after 1964, let alone any oppression that was taking place in 2016 when Kaepernick began his anti-America protests.
It begs the question, where exactly is the oppression that the National Anthem protests are supposed to be highlighting?
The next day, Ditka released a clarifying statement, explaining that he was talking about a lack of oppression inside the NFL, and was not a reflection of society.
“I want to clarify statements that I made in an interview with Jim Gray last night. The characterization of the statement that I made does not reflect the context of the question that I was answering and certainly does not reflect my views throughout my lifetime. I have absolutely seen oppression in society in the last 100 years and I am completely intolerant of any discrimination. The interview was about the NFL and the related issues. That’s where my head was at. I was quoted in the interview stating, ‘You have to be color blind.’ I stated that you should look at a person for what they are and not the color of their skin. I’m sorry if anyone was offended.”
Let us know if you would like to see Mike Ditka run for office.
Source: Chicago Sun Times