Mike Ditka has sparked some pushback from a fellow football coach: Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.
Harbaugh vs. Ditka
“You don’t like the game, get out of it,” Ditka said recently. “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… It makes no sense to me. I would tell those players go to another country and play football there.”
Now Harbaugh has a few pointed words of his own on the subject, according to NBC Sports.
“I don’t know how you can criticize someone for being passionate and for believing in something important to them,” Harbaugh told NBC. “They want America to be great, and to realize the ideals we were founded on.”
Harbaugh coached for the Philadelphia Eagles before he took over as head coach of the Ravens. He and his brother Jim Harbaugh, formerly head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, are the only pair of brothers to serve as head coaches in the National Football League.
Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens have been very outspoken on the issues surrounding recent protests. Earlier in August, the team held a team meeting to discuss criminal justice reforms. The team billed it as a “team unifying session” and released a statement afterward.
“I commend them for what they came up with,” Harbaugh said then. “In all absolute frankness, I really wish everybody could be part of a football team or like a football team in their lifetime. Because being part of a football team is a unique thing.”