Mike Ditka is not impressed with today’s generation of stunt pulling anti-American NFL protesters.
Chicago Bears legend Mike Ditka scolded protesting NFL players Wednesday and gave them a succinct message.
“Just play football,” said Ditka, who as a coach and player personified the toughness that generations of NFL fans associate with the Bears.
In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Ditka made it clear protesting players had gone too far.
“… I don’t believe you demonstrate against the American flag. I believe in the American flag. Or demonstrate against the Constitution. I believe in the Constitution,” he said. “I’m old-fashioned. There are other ways to get your point across. But I don’t believe one should demonstrate against our country.”
“And that’s the way I feel,” he told his interviewer. “And now I’d like to go back to my card game.”
Ditka has expressed anger at the protests since they first began and said players who think this makes them special will learn they are not.
Ditka said those who seek attention will fall short.
“Let them be malcontents. Let them do their thing,” he said in early September. “They’ll move on, nobody will think about it, nobody will remember who they were, the fact they didn’t stand for the national anthem.”
Ditka said political antics have no place on an NFL field.
“There’s a time and place for everything. Before a football game is not the time and place for it,” he said. “Period.”