Mike Ditka clarifies remarks: 'I have absolutely seen oppression'

Mike Ditka on Anthem Protests: 'No Oppression in the Last 100 Years' He Knows Of

Mike Ditka on Anthem Protests: 'No Oppression in the Last 100 Years' He Knows Of

And that view was counter to what Ditka said the night before during an interview with Westwood One's Jim Gray before the Monday Night Football game featuring the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. "Now maybe I'm not watching it as carefully as other people", Ditka said during the interview. 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 can accomplish anything, and we have watched that throughout our history of our country.

The legendary Jets quarterback, who helped the franchise win its only Super Bowl title (Super Bowl III), said that his first experience with oppression came not in the deep South at the University of Alabama during the '60s, when Namath played for Paul (Bear) Bryant and when the civil rights movement churned across the country. 'Excuse me, go do it somewhere else.

Ditka, known for his outspoken conservative viewpoints on and off the gridiron, in the past has taken on Colin Kaepernick, telling the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and others who "disrespects this country and the flag" to "get the hell out", and calling President Obama the "worst" president ever. I mean, you can say, 'Are you talking everything is based on color?' I don't see it that way.

Gray also asked Ditka about Muhammad Ali and Jesse Owens and their forms of protest against social injustice.

"I don't know what social injustices [there] have been", Ditka responded. People rise to the top and they became very influential people in our country by doing the right thing. I have absolutely seen oppression in society in the last 100 years and I am completely intolerant of any discrimination. Namath added that he thinks when quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his former 49ers teammate Eric Reid knelt during the anthem previous year, the two players "weren't disrespecting the flag". I stated that you should look at a person for what they are and not the color of their skin. "That has never had anything to do with anything". While discussing National Football League protests, Ditka went full racist. I think the opportunity is there for everybody. They were praised by those who don't believe in the protests or what they stand for, and also by those who want politics out of sports altogether.

But there's one particular quote from Ditka that stood out above the rest on Monday night. and certainly not for a good reason.

"When I look at the whole thing, I'm not condemning anybody, or criticizing anybody".

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