NFL Hall-of-Famer Mike Ditka reiterated his “get the hell out” stance regarding NFL players protesting for social justice.
Over the weekend, several players chose to demonstrate in order to bring attention to racial inequality.
The most common form of protest demonstrated by players was to kneel on one knee during the National Anthem. Other players chose to stand with their fist in the air as the anthem played. The Houstan Texans decided to stay inside their locker room during the anthem.
Ditka has made his thoughts on protesting crystal clear numerous times. Four years ago when Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the National Anthem, Ditka suggested that Kaepernick leave the country.
He has, on numerous occasions, said the protests disrespect the American Flag and those who serve the country. Ditka again emphatically stated that demonstrating athletes should “get the hell out” of the country earlier this year.
According to USA Today, Ditka shared his thoughts on protesting with Newsmax after the NFL’s opening weekend.
“I would tell those players go to another country and play football there,” he said. “They 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.”
Predictably, social media reaction ranged from support for Ditka to disgust for his words.
A few commenters suggested that Ditka’s Hall-of-Fame status be reexamined.