Former NFL coach and player Mike Ditka has once again weighed in on players kneeling for the national anthem before games.
Ditka, 80, has been very outspoken against the national anthem displays. He does not appear to have changed his opinion.
Speaking to Newsmax TV on Monday, the Pro Football Hall of Famer had a blunt message for those who kneel for the national anthem.
“If you can’t respect this country, get the hell out of it,” Ditka said on National Report.
“It’s not a complicated thing,” he said. “You play the game, you enjoy the game, if you don’t like the game, get out of it.”
The NFL had several players kneeling for the national anthem in Week 1. Some teams chose to stay inside the locker room for the anthem, while others were on the field, with players kneeling and standing.
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— NFL (@NFL) September 14, 2020
“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,” Ditka added.
“I don’t really understand what you’re protesting. I played the game, I coached the game for a long time, and it makes no sense to me. You ought to get down on your hands and knees and thank God every day that you can make the kind of money that you can make playing football, or playing any sport.”
Ditka played in the NFL from 1961-72. He was a six-time All-Pro and a Super Bowl champion as a player. Ditka then went into coaching, as he led the Bears from 1982-92 and the Saints from 1997-99.