To say he isn’t a fan would be an understatement. Ditka seems absolutely livid.
“I think it’s a problem, anybody who disrespects this country and the flag,” Ditka told a Dallas sports radio station during an interview Friday. “If they don’t like the country, they don’t like our flag ― get the hell out, that’s what I think.”
The 49ers quarterback has refused to stand for the national anthem before NFL games this season, a silent protest that Kaepernick says is about highlighting racial inequity in the U.S. ― a problem that’s “bigger than football.”
But Ditka, who played for Chicago for much of the 1960s ― a fairly turbulent time for the city, which to this day remains highly segregated and is struggling with a rash of gun violence ― doesn’t see what the problem is.
“I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on,” Ditka told the radio hosts. “I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunities. Now, if they don’t want to look for them, then you can find problems with anything.”
“I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick. He probably has no respect for me,” Ditka added. “That’s his choice. My choice is that I like this country. I respect our flag.”
“But this is the land of opportunity, because you can be anything you want to be if you work,” he concluded. “Now if you don’t work, that’s a different problem.”