Mike Ditka on NFL protests: ‘No oppression in the last 100 years’
CHICAGO – Former Chicago Bears star Mike Ditka is making headlines and raising eyebrows for commentw he made about race in America.
He was discussing the controversy over NFL players kneeling with Jim Gray on Westwood One’s pregame show Monday night when he 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.”
Ditka said he thinks players should wait until after the game to protest, and he also expressed support for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who said this week that any players who disrespect the anthem or the American flag will not be allowed to play.
“I think you’re a professional athlete. You have an obligation to the game. I think you have to respect the game… I don’t see a lot of respect for the game. I see a lot of respect for their own individual opinions… Protest when the game is over. Protest whatever way you want to. Football has been so good to these guys. It’s been so good to me. Enjoy it. Have fun with it. I don’t think it’s the stage for protests.
I don’t care who your are, how much money you make, if you don’t respect our country then you shouldn’t be in our country playing football. Go to another country and play football.
If you can’t respect the flag and this country, then you don’t respect what this is all about. So I would say adios.”