PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In an interview with TMZ Sports former NFL player and coach Mike Ditka called kneeling for the national anthem “disrepectful.”
“If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country,” Ditka said in the interview. “That’s the way I feel. Of course, I’m old fashioned, so I’m only going to say what I feel.”
This comes in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement being recognized by leagues such as the MLB, WNBA, NBA, and others after the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
“You don’t protest against the flag and you don’t protest against this country who’s given you the opportunities to make a living playing a sport that you never thought would happen,” Ditka continued. “So, I don’t want to hear all the crap.”
The purpose of the interview was to promote an upcoming women’s football league, “The X League,” in which Ditka will be a chairman.
In the interview, Ditka said he does not have the final say for The X League’s national anthem policies and that what he was saying are just his personal feelings.
Mike Ditka played high school and college football here in the Pittsburgh area. First with Aliquippa and then went on to Pitt where he now has his jersey number retired and was inducted to the Football Hall Of Fame in 1988.