Mike Ditka doesn’t suffer fools.
His grit and attitude is what made him both a Hall of Fame player and head coach.
It’s no surprise he didn’t mince words when asked about NFL players boycotting the National Anthem, especially on the anniversary of 9/11.
Ditka called them malcontents and said history would soon forget them.
NFL Hall of Fame’s Mike Ditka had some strong words for national anthem protesters in an interview with TMZ Sports.
While Ditka admitted people have the right to protest, he called protesters “malcontents” who nobody will remember once time has passed.
TMZ asked the former Chicago Bears player and coach if he would like to see protests put on hold for 9/11.
“I’d like to see [the protests] put on hold every day,” Ditka responded. “I mean, there’s a time and place for everything. Before a football game is not the time and place for it, period.”
Mike Ditka’s not lightening up on NFL players who don’t stand for the National Anthem … unless calling them disrespectful troublemakers nobody will remember is considered lightening up. SUBSCRIBE — http://po.st/TMZSportsSubscribe About TMZ Sports: Some of the best stories in sports have been off the field and we’re reporting on athletes from NFL, NBA, UFC, WWE, MLB and more!
This isn’t the first time Ditka has ruffled feathers. Last year he made headlines for ripping Barack Obama.
From The Daily Mail:
…Ditka, both a former player and coach for the Chicago Bears, revealed he believed Barack Obama was the worst president ‘we’ve ever had’.
Ditka…said Obama was a ‘fine man’ but not a leader when he went on WABC’S The Bernie & Sid Show last Thursday.
‘He would be great to play golf with,’ Ditka continued.
‘He’s not a leader. This country needs leadership. It needs direction. It needs somebody that steps up front.’
In 2013 Ditka called not running against Obama in the Illinois 2004 Senate race the ‘biggest mistake’ he had ever made.
‘Not that I would have won,’ Ditka said during the grand opening of an oil company in North Dakota. ‘But I probably would have and he wouldn’t be in the White House.’
After Jack Ryan dropped out of the race following reports he forced his TV star wife Jeri Ryan to perform sexual acts on him in public, local Republicans put the pressure on Ditka to run.
Obama recognized the former tight-end’s ‘enormous’ popularity in the state and said at the time he believed the NFL legend ‘immediately becomes a favorite’ if he entered the Senate race.
Although he had high approval ratings, Ditka declined to be the Republican candidate four months before the election – citing his wife’s disapproval as well as business obligations.
Obama, just coming off a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, went to beat Alan Keyes in a landslide.
A week after those comments, Ditka was removed from his prime position on NFL Countdown, and then quietly phased out at ESPN.
He also charged ESPN with being liberally biased, which becomes more and more apparent with each passing day.
If only Ditka had run against Obama in 2004.