Mike Ditka, the ornery 76-year old Hall of Famer who coached one the greatest defenses in NFL history, went on a radio show in Dallas and was asked about Colin Kaepernick. Because if you’ve spent a minute around football, that’s the only question people are asking anyone these days.
Ditka, a longtime Republican, had this to say when asked about Time Magazine cover boy Kaepernick taking a knee during the National Anthem:
“I think it’s a problem…anybody who disrespects this country and the flag” said Ditka. “If they don’t like the country they don’t like our flag…get the hell out.”
“I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick – he probably has no respect for me, that’s his choice” said Ditka. “My choice is, 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.”
Ditka added, “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. If you don’t work…that’s a different problem. ”
This doesn’t really need to be dissected in detail, right? Steve Kerr’s spoken eloquently. Richard Sherman agreed with Ditka that standing against the flag wasn’t the right move; then Kaepernick adjusted to taking a knee and it has largely squashed the hatred.
That exhale you just heard was a collection of ESPN executives thrilled that it parted ways with Ditka earlier this year.