On Tuesday former player/NFL coach/ESPN analyst Mike Ditka pressed on with similar comments he's been making throughout the years about players kneeling as a form of protest against racism during the national anthem.
To keep it short, he's against it. And he once more aired that opinion during a segment on Newsmax TV. You can either watch, read, do both or (if you think you already know the gist of what he'll say because you've seen him talk about this subject before) neither.
First, here's the clip:
Then here's the quote, as transcribed by USA TODAY.
"Football's football. It's not a complicated thing," he said. "You're playing the game, you're enjoying the game. You don't like the game, get out of it. It's not for protesting one way or the other. What color you are, what you think, this or that. You play football. That's it. You're privileged. You got a gift from God that you can play the game because you got a body you can do it with. I don't really understand what you're protesting. I played the game. I coached the game for a long time. It makes no sense to me."
From there he went on to opine that those who don't "respect this country" should "get the hell out of it."
"I would tell those players go to another country and play football there," Ditka continued. "You don't have to come out. You don't have to come out if you go to another country. You can't! Because the game's only played in this country. And if you can't respect this country, get the hell out of it."
In decades past this probably would've gone relatively unnoticed (I didn't even know what Newsmax TV was). But in the current environment it gets reacted to and (somewhat ironically?) amplified. Mike Ditka is 80-years-old, so it seems unlikely he'll see these. But for others, here you go: