Mike Ditka’s comments on the National Anthem kneeling controversy are causing quite a stir on social media. The legendary NFL coach used strong words for those who choose to kneel for the Anthem, and many online users shared strong reactions to the message.
During an interview with TMZ, Ditka, 80, offered his thoughts on the issue. “If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country,” Ditka said. “That’s the way I feel. Of course, I’m old fashioned, so I’m only going to say what I feel.”
He continued by explaining that he feels the protests during the Anthem display an ungrateful outlook toward the US. “You don’t protest against the flag and you don’t protest against this country who’s given you the opportunities to make a living playing a sport that you never thought would happen,” Ditka says. “So, I don’t want to hear all the crap.”
Social Media Reacts to Mike Ditka and the Kneeling Controversy
After Ditka shared his thoughts on the issue, social media quickly weighed in on the controversy. While many voiced their support for Ditka’s comments, many others expressed their opposing views on kneeling during the anthem.
Twitter user, Andrew Pollack, voiced his support for Ditka’s right to share his thoughts. “Democrats are pissed off Mike Ditka told kneeling athletes to get the hell out of the country,” Pollack wrote. “They don’t want Ditka to exercise his 1st Amendment rights. That’s exactly what fascists do.”
On the contrary, a Twitter user, @mansoortshams, feels that Ditka shouldn’t tell people to leave the country. “Dear Mike Ditka: I’m a US Marine who served this Nation with his life. Yet I’ve NEVER felt it my place to tell anyone to ‘get the hell out of the country.’ Let that sink in. PS: Athletes kneel to raise awareness for racial injustice. And you’re exactly one of the reasons why,” another user writes.
Check out more social media reactions below:
Mike Ditka isn’t the only public figure, however, to openly oppose kneeling. Earlier this month, President Trump talked about the return of live sports and the Anthem controversy. Learn more here.