Mike Ditka on National Football League protests: 'No oppression in the last 100 years'

Ross Houston
October 10, 2017

He was 16 when Rosa Parks was arrested.

Gray then asked Ditka about the comparison between those protesting and the historic protests of Muhammad Ali, Jesse Owens, John Carlos and Tommy Smith.

"Is this the stage for this?"

This is one of those moments where you sort of back away slowly, because you don't want to be accused of supporting something so unbelievably bad that came from someone else's mouth. I think that you have to be color blind in this country. You have an obligation to the game. I just see respect for their own individual opinions.

"How (a) bout you and all the protesters go to city hall or the state capital to protest, not at a football game", tweeted Joseph Bailey.

"If you can't respect this flag and the country, then you don't respect what this is all about".

The former football great added that players apparently wanted to start a national dialogue about social justice issues, but they've instead created a national dialogue about the anthem, flag and patriotism. 'Excuse me, go do it somewhere else. If you can't respect the flag and the country, then you don't respect what this is all about.

Ditka, 77, is also a Trump supporter, so there is that.

"I don't see all the social injustice that some of these people see", Ditka said late in the interview. "Their thoughts on, you know, police brutality and racial inequality, education gap, the economical gap in these communities that they make money in". "I would say all lives matter and the rules are not level for everybody. And now I'd like to go back to my card game".

"I think that you have to be colorblind in this country". Have you got to look at a person for what he is and what he stands for. That has never had anything to do with anything.

He added, "All of a sudden, it has become a big deal now, about oppression". A quick reminder that 100 years ago was 1917. "Or to people that obviously when you look - and I say obviously, some of these dash cams and shootings that were done to unarmed people". I think the opportunity is there for everybody-race, religion, creed, color, nationality.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these National Football League owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out!" Ditka stepped in it again on Monday when he said the last century has been oppression-free, as far as he's aware, at least.

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