Mike Ditka has been on the labor side of the NFL as a player, and the management side as a coach, and he’s had harsh criticism for both sides since his retirement. So it’s no surprise that he has plenty to say about the lockout currently embroiling the NFL.
“I think to a degree, it’s a power struggle, I really do,” Ditka told Dave Krieger of the Denver Post. “Egos have gotten in the way of reason. I think common sense would be much better served if people would just think about the situation, think about where they’re at as players and owners in life, and try to make this thing work.”
Ditka ripped Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s comment likening the NFL to “modern-day slavery,” saying it demonstrated ignorance on the part of today’s players.
“Some of the younger players, the comments they make don’t make any sense,” he said. “Somebody saying they make $12 million a year, and they’re saying people call them a slave? I mean, I’m not sure I really understand any of this. There’s nowhere in society where you can go out and make $12 million. Nowhere! If you’re a rocket scientist, you can’t do it. You just can’t do it!”
Ditka also weighed in on the quarterback of his old team, Chicago’s Jay Cutler, saying that the criticism of Cutler isn’t going to stop until he learns to conduct himself the way a leader should.
“I’m just saying that he needs to improve his body language, and I think everybody would admit that,” Ditka said. “But as far as the game of football and the ability to throw the football, he does that very well. And I think the other quality we got to get to is the leadership thing. You’ve got to be able to lead as a quarterback.”