| July 26, 2020
Mike Ditka isn't holding back and is slamming athletes who kneel during the National Anthem and saying it's "disrespectful".
According to the New York Post, Hall of Fame NFL coach Mike Ditka said athletes who kneel during the National Anthem should “get the hell out of the country.”
After strongly criticizing former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others for starting the solidarity movement with Black Lives Matter back in 2016, the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd hasn’t changed Ditka’s outlook.
“If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country,” Ditka said during an interview with TMZ on Sunday.
“That’s the way I feel. Of course, I’m old fashioned,” the former broadcaster went on. “So, I’m only going to say what I feel … 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. So, I don’t want to hear all the crap.”
Floyd’s death on Memorial Day has sparked massive protests in cities across the country that have carried on through the summer.
As sports like the MLB and NBA return during the coronavirus pandemic, both leagues have granted players the opportunity to voice their support of the BLM movement through their uniforms and other apparel worn during warm-ups.
At the MLB’s Opening Day earlier this week, the entire rosters of the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees knelt for a minute while they clutched a single, long black cloth that stretched behind the foul lines. The teams did then rise for the anthem.
President Trump, another major critic of athletes who knelt back in 2016, said last week that he hoped to see all professional athletes standing for the National Anthem this year.
“There are plenty of places you can protest,” he said during an appearance on Fox News at the time. “You don’t have to protest on the raising of our flag.” READ MORE