Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Mike Ditka Slams NFL Protests: "There Has Been No Oppression In The Last 100 Years" [Update]

Pro Football Hall of Famer and former ESPN analyst Mike Ditka dove again into the NFL protest controversy last night in an interview with Jim Gray on Westwood One Radio, saying that players kneeling during the national anthem need to “go to another country and play football” because he “doesn’t know what social injustices have been” and that “there has been no oppression in the last 100 years.”

Ditka’s weighed in on Colin Kaepernick before, but never with such blindness to this country’s miserable history with race relations. Here’s a refresher for you, Mike.

Update (Oct. 11, 12:40 p.m. ET): Ditka has released a statement:

I want to clarify statements that I made in an interview with Jim Gray Monday night. The characterization of the statement that I made does not reflect the context of the question that I was answering and certainly does not reflect my views throughout my lifetime. I have absolutely seen oppression in society in the last 100 years and I am completely intolerant of any discrimination. The interview was about the NFL and the related issues. That’s where my head was at. I was quoted in the interview stating, ‘You have to be color blind.’ I stated that you should look at a person for what they are and not the color of their skin. I’m sorry if anyone was offended. 


Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Timothy Burke

Timothy Burke is formerly Deadspin's Video Director.

PGP Fingerprint: CDD8 B3DD 3565 1540 B1F9 4D63 D2B5 398E 0CAF 2F9CPGP Key
OTR Fingerprint: 69085D53 4F369233 EA007F99 B4926AAD 8C458956