Mike Ditka: There’s been no oppression ‘for at least 100 years’
Former Chicago Bears coach and erectile dysfunction medication pitchman Mike Ditka shared his wildly uninformed thoughts on NFL anthem protests during NBC’s “Monday Night Football” pre-show. All the former football player proved is that he never cracked open a history book in his life.
Ditka told sportscaster Jim Gray:
“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. I think the opportunity is there for everybody — race, religion, creed, color, nationality. If you want to work, if you want to try, if you want to put effort in, you can accomplish anything.”
“That I know of” is the operative phrase here.
Before one even considers the fact that Jim Crow laws weren’t abolished until 1964, Ditka was apparently in such a sheltered position that he was completely unaware of how racism affected his own teammates.
From Chicago Tribune:
Setting aside what’s going on today, the discrimination and bigotry Ditka’s Bears teammates faced in the mid-1960s was memorably depicted in the much-beloved 1971 TV movie “Brian’s Song,” starring James Caan as Brian Piccolo and Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers, the team’s first interracial roommates.
It’s gonna be wild when Ditka finds out that police regularly shoot unarmed black people and face no repercussions.
Ditka went as far as to say that coaches should bench players who take the knee.
“Yes, I don’t care who you are, how much money you make,” Ditka said. “If you don’t respect our country, then you shouldn’t be in this country playing football. Go to another country and play football. If you had to go somewhere else and try to play the sport, you wouldn’t have a job. … If you don’t respect this flag and this country, then you don’t know what this is all about. I would say, adios.”
And with that, a production assistant laid and afghan over Ditka and he leaned back in his recliner, ready to nap through another “Diagnosis: Murder” rerun.