Mike Ditka rips NFL protests: 'There has been no oppression in the last 100 years'
The Hall of Fame coach said on Monday that he doesn’t believe there’s been oppression in the United States ‘in the last 100 years’
Hall of Fame coach Mike Ditka said on Monday that he doesn’t believe there has been oppression in the United States “in the last 100 years”.
The 77-year-old Ditka made the remarks during an interview on Westwood One’s Monday Night Football pregame show when asked about the ongoing wave of NFL players opting to sit or kneel during the national anthem as a way to protest social injustice in America.
“All of a sudden, it’s become a big deal now, about oppression,” Ditka said. “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. I think the opportunity is there for everybody. … If you want to work, if you want to try, if you want to put effort into yourself, I think you can accomplish anything.”
He added: “Is that the stage for this? If you want to protest, or whatever you want to protest, you’ve got a right to do that, but I think you’re a professional athlete, you have an obligation to the game. I think you have to respect the game. That’s what I think is the most important thing. I don’t see a lot of respect for the game. I just see respect for their own individual opinions. Opinions are like noses, we all have one. Some are good. Some are bad.”
It’s not the first time Ditka has spoken on the issue. The longtime NFL coach said last year he had “no respect” for quarterback Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, shortly after he first kneeled during the anthem, sparking a national discussion and inspiring dozens of NFL players to follow suit.
“I think it’s a problem, anybody who disrespects this country and the flag,” Ditka said then in a radio interview on KRLD-FM in Dallas. “If they don’t like the country, if they don’t like our flag, get the hell out. That’s what I think.
“I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick. He probably has no respect for me, that’s his choice. My choice is that I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.
“I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunity. Now if they don’t want to look for them, then you can find problems with anything, but this is the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work. Now if you don’t work, that’s a different problem.”
Earth to Mike Ditka: Oppression has gone on (and still is ongoing) within the last 100 years in the USA.