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Mike Ditka to Colin Kaepernick: “If you don’t like the country . . . get the hell out”

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Mike Ditka not only wants you to get off his lawn; he also wants you to get out of his country.

The Hall of Fame tight end, Super Bowl-winning head coach, and renowned curmudgeon appeared Friday morning with Shan Shariff and R.J. Choppy on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas/Ft. Worth. They asked him about 49ers Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to to stand for the national anthem.

“I think it’s a problem,” Ditka said. “Anybody who disrespects this country and the flag. If they don’t like the country, they don’t like our flag, get the hell out.”

Here’s the thing about having freedoms. If they can’t freely be used, they’re not really freedoms. And while Ditka is free to tell people who make a conscientious decision not to stand for the anthem to “get the hell out,” that attitude reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be an American citizen. We can disagree among ourselves without saying to those who don’t see things our way, “Get the hell out.”

Some would say Ditka is the one who should “get the hell out,” especially if he’s looking for a country where it’s not optional to stand for the anthem. There are plenty of countries where folks go to prison for not demonstrating proper respect to the flag; our country has fought against many countries like that over the years.

“I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick,” Ditka added. “He probably has no respect for me, that’s his choice. My choice is that I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.”

If that’s the case, then Ditka either has gone blind or he’s choosing not to open his eyes.

Amazing as it may seem to some, it’s possible both to love this country and to want to improve it. No one tells those who want to “make America great again” that, because they currently believe America isn’t great, they should “get the hell out.” So whether it’s wearing a hat with a slogan or taking a knee during the anthem, there’s a huge difference between striving for change in the country and hating it.

The biggest change we all should be striving for is the development of the ability to respect the opinions of others, even when they disagree with our own. If that would ever happen, we could get back to being the United States of America, instead of the United States of Maury Povich.

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258 Responses to “Mike Ditka to Colin Kaepernick: “If you don’t like the country . . . get the hell out””
  1. RandyinRoxbury says: Sep 23, 2016 11:32 AM

    Thank you Coach Ditka for saying what most real American’s are thinking!
    To much drama for a backup QB with no accuracy.

  2. jerruhjones says: Sep 23, 2016 11:32 AM

    …and get off my lawn!

    PS
    Thanks Coach.

  3. dshady3327 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:33 AM

    I’m just here to read about Football news.

  4. fc187 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:33 AM

    Oh great.
    America Love It Or Leave It!

    Had to listen to that BS in the 60’s

    How about “Lets Try To Make It better For Everyone!”

  5. wolfgangvomframps says: Sep 23, 2016 11:34 AM

    Ditka apparently loves his country , except for that pesky First Amendment.

    The tight end needs to remember that the freedom to peacefully protest is one of the core values of this country.

    Get out? Heck no. Kaep and others like him want to Make This Country Great Again.

  6. sportmigos says: Sep 23, 2016 11:34 AM

    ppl forget its his first amendment right to say this.

  7. td30 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:34 AM

    well…you’re an old, white, affluent male so..that might be why you dont see atrocities

    I hate this cliche (its turned into a cliche by now) because it just says they want to stay with the status quo and not make any improvements

  8. iluvbears says: Sep 23, 2016 11:34 AM

    Why is Ditka such a bitter old fart? He’s had a relatively successful life. Why can’t he live and let live? His act is starting to wear thin.

  9. joetoronto says: Sep 23, 2016 11:34 AM

    Right on, Coach!

  10. xpensivewinos says: Sep 23, 2016 11:35 AM

    Typical right wing douche…….

  11. milehighmike7 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:35 AM

    If you don’t like racism and getting murdered in the street, get the heck out! Wow, what a piece of crud Mike Dicka is.

  12. scoops1 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:35 AM

    Ditka needs to shave that beard

  13. jchipwood says: Sep 23, 2016 11:35 AM

    Wherever he works he’ll be fired today. If you don’t agree with the liberal media that’s what happens. Right or wrong has nothing to do with it.

  14. haminator says: Sep 23, 2016 11:36 AM

    I must’ve missed the part where kap said he hates this country.

  15. ee00ee says: Sep 23, 2016 11:36 AM

    What’s wrong with wanting change? What’s wrong with identifying problems and striving to fix them?

    If you don’t like efforts to make the country better get the hell out Ditka.

  16. nhpats says: Sep 23, 2016 11:36 AM

    When is Kaep going to protest the hundreds of blacks that are killed each day by other blacks? Don’t those lives matter?

  17. whiteybulgersson says: Sep 23, 2016 11:36 AM

    Well, he is right.

    Or racist, according to left wing nuts.

  18. barsfordays says: Sep 23, 2016 11:37 AM

    Anyone else find it funny how Americans always pride themselves with having freedom of speech but as soon as anyone voices their opinion on something all hell breaks loose? Mike Ditka, go away you grumpy old fossil.

  19. In Teddy We Trust says: Sep 23, 2016 11:37 AM

    That’s great, but please explain to me how disrespecting the flag is doing anything to make this country better. All Kaepernick has done is make it cool to be disrespectful and draw attention to an issue that doesn’t really exist. Instead of sitting for the national anthem, how about educating yourself about what’s really going on rather than buy the lie that the sensationalist media is selling? If riots in the street are making America better, than I guess Kaepernick has achieved his goal.

  20. samgeyser says: Sep 23, 2016 11:37 AM

    Change happens through education. Ditka has always thought he knows it all about everything. Once these old, worn out and tired attitudes die off, we can all move forward. Ditka was a pretty good football coach, average commentator, a funny character but he’s an out-of-touch American. Doesn’t fundamentally understand who we are and why we’re here. This is the world we live in. Get out of the way. Retire. Stay off the air.

  21. ducknichols50 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:38 AM

    maybe you should follow your own advice and respect Ditkas opinion and “right” to have an opinion? Or, does it not work that way for you?

  22. dmartin17 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:38 AM

    Dikta has CTE right?

  23. factschecker says: Sep 23, 2016 11:38 AM

    Serious question (I’m not a democrat)

    How come they don’t take their (Don’t like it then leave) own advice when the topic is Obama?

    Again, I’m not a democrat. I didn’t vote for Obama. I just notice the hypocrisy all the time and nobody ever calls them out on it.

  24. war27 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:38 AM

    Sooner or later the Buick customers will be gone and it will be a better place.

  25. veetan says: Sep 23, 2016 11:39 AM

    Yeah, we agree – and thank the crusty old guy for speaking plainly.

    Thoughtful protests are good, but disrespect is not. Try that in Malaysia, or Russia, or China or most other places, and see what happens.

  26. mrclaytonbigsby says: Sep 23, 2016 11:39 AM

    CTE

  27. Staticphear says: Sep 23, 2016 11:39 AM

    My opinion of Mike Ditka just went up alot.

  28. pw1265 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:40 AM

    Says the old, racist P.O.S!!!
    Translated….I will stay a racist, deal with it.

  29. hamlet423 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:40 AM

    Didn’t Ditka trade all the Saints draft picks to take RB Ricky Williams ?

    Ah, they traded all their 1999 picks and their 1st and 3rd round picks in 2000 for Williams.

    I think his football card should be revoked. Long overdue. Just for that trade, let alone his coaching with the Saints!

  30. najacoo22 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:40 AM

    And while Ditka is free to tell people who make a conscientious decision not to stand for the anthem to “get the hell out,” that attitude reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be an American citizen. We can disagree among ourselves without saying to those who see things our way, “Get the hell out.”

    ———————————–

    We can also disagree about things without disrespecting our country and those who have fought to serve it. I would say that “reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be an American”

  31. theoneontheleft2 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:40 AM

    Well, since this country was built on the foundation of free speech, and values non-violent expressions of dissension … I guess maybe if Mike Ditka doesn’t like this country, he should get the hell out.

  32. John X says: Sep 23, 2016 11:40 AM

    Florio, you can’t have a logical debate with conservatives over this. They only think in black and white. If you kneel during the national anthem to bring awareness to a cause = you hate this country. If you don’t want police officers to kill people as a first resort = you hate cops and want to kill all cops. No abortions because life begins immediately at conception. You want reasonable limits on gun ownership = you want a permanent ban on all guns for every law abiding citizen.

    There are no shades of gray for these people. And since they don’t share the same worldview as others, they cannot comprehend why anyone would ever protest anything in this country. It’s completely foreign to them. It’s why people like Ditka say “I don’t see any of these issues. There are no issues! Sit down and shut up!”

    There’s no way to fix this due to the media consumption of conservatives and liberals being so different. Partisanship divides EVERYTHING now, there is no reaching across the aisle and compromising. There never will be again, those days are long gone. Those of us who can see both sides can only weep in sorrow as this country continues to tear itself apart.

  33. cinfante54 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:40 AM

    I don’t support Kaepernick’s decision but if you’re telling someone who isn’t standing for a country because it oppresses blacks to “get the hell out,” then aren’t you essentially saying “well if you don’t like that we oppress blacks then leave.”

  34. pw1265 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:41 AM

    Staticphear says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:39 AM

    My opinion of Mike Ditka just went up alot.

    Proving what an IDIOT you truly are. Pathetic loser boi

  35. proteus914 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:41 AM

    Gee…you think he’s a trump supporter? Typical ignorant redneck.

  36. najacoo22 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:41 AM

    I wish we could read about football without being subjected to such clear political leanings and agendas.

  37. srector1224 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:43 AM

    Big suprise. Im sure Ditka yearns for the days where people like Colin knew their place and shut the hell up. I mean he remembers the 50’s and 60’s. Are we suprised Ditka is probably a racist? Not me.

  38. dickshotdogs says: Sep 23, 2016 11:43 AM

    Right on, Mike. Thumbs up.

  39. icallitlikeiseeit67 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:43 AM

    Yea Mike we should just put our heads in the sand and pretend that there is nothing happening here……

    #dinosaurmentality

  40. patfic15 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:43 AM

    Amen

  41. bhuettl says: Sep 23, 2016 11:43 AM

    You tell ’em coach. I agree. If they don’t like it here, then go where you think its better. Coach didn’t tell him to leave because he didn’t stand for the anthem, he told him to leave if he didn’t like it here.

  42. agent7x6 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:44 AM

    “Amazing as it may seem to some, it’s possible both to love this country and to want to improve it. No one tells those who want to “make America great again” that, because they currently believe America isn’t great, they should “get the hell out.” So whether it’s wearing a hat with a slogan or taking a knee during the anthem, there’s a huge difference between striving for change in the country and hating it.”
    ———————————————————————
    Thanks for including the above paragraph in your article. All of us are aware of some aspect of America that they would prefer to be different. Doing so doesn’t mean that we reject America, we just wish it to evolve.

  43. mmack66 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:44 AM

    And Ditka perpetuates to most ridiculous argument ever.

  44. wolfgangvomframps says: Sep 23, 2016 11:44 AM

    nhpats,

    Do you spend a lot of time asking the people at The Kidney Foundation why they are not doing more to fight heart disease?

    Kaep is focused on this because it is important. If you want to focus on another issue — say, the terrible record of meth abuse by rural white people – do something. But either way, stop whining because you don’t like the cause he chose.

  45. senorflippyflop says: Sep 23, 2016 11:44 AM

    Why does nobody have problems with Jehovahs Witnesses who have never said the pledge or stood for the anthem?

  46. ch0rn says: Sep 23, 2016 11:44 AM

    MAGA

  47. chad504boy says: Sep 23, 2016 11:44 AM

    Ditka is right. All these kneelers should find a country that doesn’t oppress them. Truth be told, no other country on this planet does as much for this sector of the low class as what the US does yet nothing will ever be good enough because this country has given the loudes mic to the stupidest people.

  48. nflequalswwe says: Sep 23, 2016 11:45 AM

    GET OFF MY LAWN!!

  49. chicagosportsfan11 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:45 AM

    Mike Ditka is 76 years old and has lost friends and relatives in WARS that they had NO CHOICE but to fight in defending that flag. To this generation the flag really means nothing, they only notice it during the Olympics or if some kind of national tragedy happens. There is no pride in this country anymore.

    You know Jalen Rose the basketball player, started a H.S. in Detroit , non profit in the inner city and has a 76% rate of those kids going on to college. No one talks about it because Jalen walks the walk and doesn’t just talk the talk.

    You want change in this country it starts AT HOME.
    Teach kids respect
    Don’t teach kids racism
    Teach kids self accountability
    Teach kids things like understanding and empathy for others.

    Teach kids to be leaders not followers.

  50. bsizemore68 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:45 AM

    The usually comments from the far right. The Donald would be please. Mike has the old man syndrome, which I don’t like, so when in hell is he going to leave the country and hobnob with Putin. Bill

  51. ezpkns34 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:45 AM

    I, too, put more importance on the cloth flag than on the freedoms the flag actually stands for. I feel it’s safe to assume that Ditka isn’t a big fan of symbolism and metaphors in books or films either….

  52. peytonwantsaflag says: Sep 23, 2016 11:45 AM

    Yes, I absolutely hate the “love it or leave it” argument. That being said, if Ditka were the coach of the niners, this wouldn’t be an issue, as there’s no way in hell Kaepernick is not standing for the anthem (at least not more than once).

    So… I’m kinda torn.

  53. manasewitsch says: Sep 23, 2016 11:46 AM

    Why do people act like leaving the United States and getting citizenship in another country is a realistic possibility.

    You aren’t legally allowed to just move to a country you want.

  54. wolfgangvomframps says: Sep 23, 2016 11:46 AM

    Veetan,

    You wrote: “Thoughtful protests are good, but disrespect is not. Try that in Malaysia, or Russia, or China or most other places, and see what happens.”

    Yeah, “Let’s Make America More Like Malaysia, Russia and China!”

    Great plan!

  55. kcchefs58 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:46 AM

    The flag represents more than fallen soldiers who died to protect our freedom. And, you can point to things about a country that need to change and demonstrate that in a peaceful manner and simultaneously like most of what the country is about.

  56. realfann says: Sep 23, 2016 11:47 AM

    Once again, the author would be a whole lot more credible if he had voiced his opinion from the get go instead of waiting to see which way the wind was blowing.

  57. simonsays05 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:47 AM

    ” I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.”

    Thanks for showing us who we’ve always known you to be, Mike!

  58. bucsorbust says: Sep 23, 2016 11:48 AM

    The man has clearly become delusional…

    No, not Mike….COLIN!

    Bravo Mr. Ditka!

  59. wtfchiefs says: Sep 23, 2016 11:48 AM

    Headline should read;

    “Old grumpy white guy tells young American to leave the country for exercising his First Amendment rights.”

  60. supra23 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:48 AM

    100% odds Dikta loves Trump who has made his whole campaign revolve around the fact America sucks and needs to be great again.

    Oh the irony!

  61. polksaladandy says: Sep 23, 2016 11:48 AM

    You go girl! And while you’re at it, take Jay Cutler with you.

  62. gogreenbiotch says: Sep 23, 2016 11:48 AM

    Yeah, I think kap is a self serving tool bag who has done nothing but start a conversation about kap. I do however think we have cop problem in this country and it does deserve conversation and policy fixes.

    That being said, the most unamerican argument you can make is “if you don’t like it leave” not only that, it makes you sound stupid. Ditka your a dope. Your entitled to an opinion but much like kap I don’t have to respect it.

  63. jmc8888 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:49 AM

    Except Kaepernick’s position is bs.

    He blames whitey for racism, when in reality the African Americans have one person to blame for their problems.

    Barrack Obama.

    Because his (and before him idiot Bush’s) policies, Neo-Con policies, the same as Hillary… are the cause of all their angst. Or ~99 percent of it.

    So when Kaepernick doesn’t focus on these insane policies, but instead focuses on white people’s oppression of people of color, then in reality Colin Kaepernick is as dumb and out of touch as Mike Ditka.

    Because if he hasn’t noticed, it’s an African American oppressing African Americans… but not just that, but people of all races, colors, and creeds.

    It’s insane that in 2016, after all the economic idiocy of this century of blowing bubble after bubble after bubble, championed for the last eight years by Obama, that Kaepernick can’t connect the dots (nor my fellow democrats).

    Nor can they connect the dots of how and why the police got the military equipment and training: Obama.

    Or TPP/TTIP, JASTA, Snowden revelations, drone bombing, supporting terrorists and committing genocide in Libya/Syria/Yemen and a dozen or so other countries.

    I’ll repeat this so people can let it sink in….

    Colin Kaepernick is as out of touch and wrong as to the facts as Mike Ditka.

  64. bucsorbust says: Sep 23, 2016 11:50 AM

    proteus914 says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:41 AM
    Gee…you think he’s a trump supporter? Typical ignorant redneck
    ————————–
    I’ll bet you are you there are a lot more “buckets of deplorables” than just Trump supporters and the epithet you used. I’m neither and I support what Ditka said ALL THE WAY!

  65. mcdeez22 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:51 AM

    Yes, we all have the freedom to speak our minds which is the freedom that makes this country so great. I may disagree with your opinion I respect your right to have it. This is what the flag stands for – freedom. Protesting IT is the only protest I cannot get behind. It’s stupid to protest your right to protest. Colin Kaepernick is a walking oxymoron. And a moron.

    The issue of police brutality and racism is real and one we need to solve. Disrespecting the flag does not get us any closer to the answer. Let’s keep the flag as a symbol of unity. Let’s recognize that we all appreciate freedom. And let’s figure this out together. Colin, your heart might be in the right place (though I’m still not sure on that) but you are definitely going about solving this problem the wrong way.

  66. glenuendo says: Sep 23, 2016 11:51 AM

    I’m so happy we are still taking about a back up quarterback. How about he focus in on Colt McCoy now?

  67. kevinoc63 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:52 AM

    Well said Florio!

  68. bucsorbust says: Sep 23, 2016 11:52 AM

    Likening what Ditka said to Trump supporters is as ridiculous as comparing Kap to ISIS. I detest all three! Drive that one out and smoke it.

  69. Teddy2Tready says: Sep 23, 2016 11:53 AM

    Thank you Mike!

    Sincerely,

    Everybody

  70. brianyourwordsarehurtful says: Sep 23, 2016 11:54 AM

    If Ditka’s attitude were prevalent in 1775, there would be no United States of America.

  71. jmc8888 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:54 AM

    It’s pretty sad that Kaepernick overlooks the oppression of everyone, and just says it happens to people of color.

    Kaepernick’s position is inherently racist.

    Everyone is being screwed, but Kaepernick doesn’t support that. He supports BLM, which is funded by well known revolution starter George Soros. The guy who always has a hand in much of the revolutions around the world.

    Who also was turncoat in 1940’s Hungary, who turned in his own people.

    Yes, Kaepernick belongs to a hate group, and maybe that’s why his insane message of it’s whitey’s fault is coming out.

    Perhaps he should pay attention to the policies and the fact that all races enacted them, but our people of color at the top are currently selling us out the past 8 years. Can’t overlook that.

  72. simonsays05 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:54 AM

    “Thoughtful protests are good, but disrespect is not. Try that in Malaysia, or Russia, or China or most other places, and see what happens.”
    _______________________________

    Hmmm… I hear this a lot. Can any of you who agree with this sentiment please tell me what a thoughtful protest would look like to you? What would make you comfortable and not upset you? How can the mean, rich, disrespectful athletes proceed in a protest that will please you?

  73. Wonka22 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:54 AM

    It’s about time that someone with access to the media, puts it straight out there so the vast majority of us in this country that believe Colin is an idiot, get our voice heard as well, KUDOS MIKE! Anyone who has their own blinders on, and doesn’t see the very clear pattern that has been going on with regards to all these criminals engaging law enforcement, need to get a clue already. A very high percentage, most likely high 90’s, of the confrontations that end with someone getting shot or something similar by police, start out with a crime being commited, mostly felonious ones, and the criminal gets accosted by police and it all goes to hell in a handbasket. If CK, or anyone else with BLM, or Obama’s administration(lol), who want to make a difference & see change: educate the young criminals who continuely are breaking our contries laws against innocent citizens. That way, there is no logical reasons for them to be in the path of police’s vision. Innocent people don’t get arrested, and they don’t run from law enforcement in the event they do get pulled over. Stop breaking the laws, earn a living instead of stealing other people’s things, and you will be treated as the rest of us our. It’s the American way!!

  74. possumsauce says: Sep 23, 2016 11:55 AM

    Dikta followed up his remarks by noting how the entire staff at the assisted living facility was stealing from him, then yelling for the heat to be turned up.

  75. Kaz says: Sep 23, 2016 11:55 AM

    Coming from the guy who supports the Make America Great “AGAIN” candidate. America is already great. If YOU don’t think so then leave.

  76. Brobokil says: Sep 23, 2016 11:55 AM

    RandyinRoxbury says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:32 AM
    Thank you Coach Ditka for saying what most real American’s are thinking!
    To much drama for a backup QB with no accuracy.
    ————————————————-

    Being ignorant and completely disregarding the very true and accurate statements Florio made in this article don’t make you a “real” American. And if you think that’s how this country should be run, then you should “get the hell out”. See? By doing it your way, and telling you to leave because you disagree with me, is how you think America should be run. So, by your own logic, YOU RandyinRoxbury, have to leave the country or else you are a hypocrite, and hate the country. So which is it?

  77. lonewizard says: Sep 23, 2016 11:56 AM

    Please excuse my ignorance but how does not standing for the national anthem help anyone?

  78. chadsmith013 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:56 AM

    nhpats says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:36 AM

    When is Kaep going to protest the hundreds of blacks that are killed each day by other blacks? Don’t those lives matter?

    I am so sick of seeing this comment….a person killing a person is hard to stop….a cop who is being paid to protect and serve killing unarmed civilians needs to be stopped…the 2 are not even comparable..

    i swear people look for whatever reason they can to look the other way at the real issue,.

  79. weepingjebus says: Sep 23, 2016 11:57 AM

    Nobody is saying Kaepernick doesn’t have the freedom to do what he is doing. The point is that these social engineers stopped being constructive a long time ago. The whole “we love the place but just want to improve it” line wore thin a long time ago, even before our own President traveled around the world apologizing to a bunch of repressive theocracies and autocracies that don’t have racism precisely because they don’t let anyone different live there in the first place. And now race relations are at their lowest point in 50 years, cities are burning, and you still claim you are helping. There have been actual invasions of the U.S. that caused less violence and burning. In this election cycle the Democrats have burned more U.S. cities than the Germans and Japanese managed in WWII combined — and mostly cities you control in the first place. Stop being the problem and the problem will go away.

  80. leroyquimby says: Sep 23, 2016 11:57 AM

    This maybe an unpopular opinion but I hear all kinds of people complain about many political issues all the time on both sides so should all of them get out too?

  81. peachyc39 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:57 AM

    Why anyone listens to this exhausting old man is beyond me…that’s why ESPN chunked his butt because he is so senile and tired he was falling asleep and not adding anything of value to the conversations anymore. Its just laughable. This is also the same man who has a major problem with endzone celebrations calls them arrogant and showoffs but he had one of the most arrogant and showoff person in Jim McMahon ever in the history of football lol. Get a grip dude

  82. bostonsteve12 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:57 AM

    “Old grumpy white guy tells young American to leave the country for exercising his First Amendment rights.”

    It seems to me that Ditka. or, as you call him in your racist way, “an old grumpy white guy”, is exercising his first amendment rights too. Funny when CK does it he is “exercising his rights” when a white man does it he is an old grumpy white guy. People who call MD this are part of the polarizing population.

  83. Brobokil says: Sep 23, 2016 11:58 AM

    jmc8888 says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:49 AM
    Except Kaepernick’s position is bs.

    He blames whitey for racism, when in reality the African Americans have one person to blame for their problems.

    Barrack Obama.
    ———————————————–

    You heard here folks! The genius jmc8888 has discovered that Barack Obama invented racism! Well said. Go choke yourself.

  84. blackula72 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:58 AM

    Typical ignorance. How about if you notice something wrong in something you love instead of leaving it you work to make it better for others. THAT Is what has made America great!

  85. wannabear says: Sep 23, 2016 11:59 AM

    DSHADY3327 SAID IT BEST. I’M ONLY HERE TO READ ABOUT FOOTBALL. LEAVE POLITICS OUT THIS ZONE. THE ONE THING THAT KEEP US HERE SHOULD REMAIN LEFT ALONE.

  86. mvikes10 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:59 AM

    My white grandfather and many of his black friends died for that flag and this country. They also died for the right to protest. Just do it in a more productive and respectful way.

  87. buttfumbles says: Sep 23, 2016 12:00 PM

    ‘Murica love it or leave it!

  88. gmen5280 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:01 PM

    Kaep signed a $114,000,000 contract of which $61 Million is guaranteed. And is only going to donate just $1 Million to this cause. Tisk Tisk Tisk
    Kaep, Go back to living in your $3 million mansion.
    Why don’t you at least give half of your guaranteed $61 Mill to help fight this social inequality?
    And do it on your own time, not on Sundays company time.

  89. deftspyder says: Sep 23, 2016 12:01 PM

    which side of the berlin wall would they shout down a peaceful protest?

  90. bbb82 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:02 PM

    Personally, I think it’s far more un-American to both exercise intolerance for someone’s right to express themselves, while simultaneously turning a blind eye social injustices.

  91. pkrlvr says: Sep 23, 2016 12:02 PM

    It’s ok to say “make America great again” because to Trump supporters it’ll never be great with a dem in office, especially a black one. To the right it’s perfectly acceptable to say America isn’t great as long as it’s their definition of not great.

  92. lindacaseauthor says: Sep 23, 2016 12:02 PM

    No surprise Ditka is a big Trump supporter, as Trump basically said the same thing to Kaepernick. According to these two, we can’t do anything to tamper with the 2nd Ammendment, but crap on the 1st Ammendment when it doesn’t jive with our intolerance.

    Make America Great Again? Can’t do it when you pick and choose constitutional rights. That’s a recipe for anarchy and riots in the streets. Oh wait. . .

  93. cornhusker44 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:03 PM

    How sad. Such a respected football guy. Has no idea about the issues that are being highlighted. Even in England, us Brits are aware of Kaepernicks stance and efforts to get the narrative started. Maybe Iron Mike had one too many bangs to the head after all. What a clown.

  94. buffalosunshine says: Sep 23, 2016 12:04 PM

    all it takes is an actual blow hard to say something stupid and people re gain perspective. This is America.. Love it or Leave it was NEVER the way we have been. THIS IS AMERICA we welcome everyone who wants to better their lot in life. If you have a problem we have allowed for people to protest in a non violent fashion. Taking a knee is about as non violent as you can get…

  95. rudegger says: Sep 23, 2016 12:05 PM

    Ditka, this is your country, where people have rights and freedoms. If you don’t like it, GET THE HELL OUT!

  96. kcflake says: Sep 23, 2016 12:05 PM

    Ditka cracks me up.

  97. cowboyfan45 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:05 PM

    723 people shot by police, 173 were black, they aren’t being hunting, another false narrative…..As Morgan Freeman, a black man and actor says, if you want to end racism, stop talking about it…..And if black lives matter so much, what do blacks shoot each other at staggering rates, 13% of the population are responsible for 52% of all murders in the country……where are the BLM protests over that!!!!! If you’re stopped by police, do exactly what they ask of you, stop arguing, ignoring and fighting with police orders, 70% of all interaction between police and Blacks, Black people are belligerent and combative…..and you wonder why you get shot!!!!!!!

  98. varangia says: Sep 23, 2016 12:06 PM

    Once again, it has nothing do with freedom. (As usual, liberals analysis is incorrect). You don’t have freedom of speech at work. You do have the right to get off private property, head out to the sidewalk and protest all you like, if you’re off the clock.

  99. ohand16 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:07 PM

    Hope and Change. Lol

  100. traptses says: Sep 23, 2016 12:07 PM

    Yet nobody says that to Trump, who’s whole campaign is based off the idea that America isn’t a great place to live right now

  101. takeachancellor says: Sep 23, 2016 12:08 PM

    Great points, florio.

  102. mrclaytonbigsby says: Sep 23, 2016 12:08 PM

    “I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.” – Ditka

    Just like all the other Colin haters. Blind.

  103. seabrawk12 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:08 PM

    I’ve disliked Crapperdick ever since he pranced around kissing his biceps. Now he’s supposed to be some influential hero. Gimme a break.

  104. gdive says: Sep 23, 2016 12:08 PM

    Coach Ditka what you just said is about as UnAmerican as it gets.

  105. colorinfusion says: Sep 23, 2016 12:09 PM

    All Kaepernick did was not stand while the Star Spangled Banner was being sung.

    He didn’t stand up and shoot his fist in the air.

    He didn’t run around screaming like a banshee.

    He had a silent protest for something he believes in.

    Why do so many people think that anyone with a lot of money somehow forfeit their right to have an opinion and use whatever platform they have available to them to voice that opinion.

    Colin Kaepernick, whether you agree or not, has every right to protest what he feels is an inequitable reality for many people of color in this country.

    Mike Ditka, again whether you agree or not, has every right to say that Kaepernick is wrong.

    What I do take issue with what Ditka said is that he (Kaepernick) “should get the hell out”.

    Being able to voice one’s opinion was so important to our Founding Fathers, it is in the very first Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

    So I find it ironic that Ditka, using his 1st Amendment rights to tell Kaepernick, using his 1st Amendment rights to leave this country just because he disagrees with what Kaepernick is doing. SMH

  106. mcmccii says: Sep 23, 2016 12:09 PM

    Nazi

  107. truecowboyfan says: Sep 23, 2016 12:09 PM

    That’s what it really comes down to when you think about it. Somebody with that much money, actually has the finances and power to pull that off.

  108. bencoates57 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:09 PM

    Ditka is a fool. I love America as a system of government but I despise contemporary Americans. I would love nothing more than to move to England. English citizens can honestly say they gave a country and it’s called england. Same with the French. I don’t have a country. My country belongs to the world. So as much as I’d lover to take Ditka’s advice, these other countries have borders and you just can’t become a citizen.

  109. wolfgangvomframps says: Sep 23, 2016 12:10 PM

    Dude, right on about Soros! He controls EVERYTHING! Chicago is going to have cold spell next week. I BLAME SOROS!

    JMC8888, but guys like us are not paranoid. No, not us! We see the truth!

    And I’m off to polish the tin foil so that I can catch further news on this topic.

  110. bannedfromchoirpractice says: Sep 23, 2016 12:11 PM

    Man, I’ve got to quit eating red meat if that’s the effect clogged arteries have on your intelligence quotient.

  111. silvernblacksabbath says: Sep 23, 2016 12:11 PM

    Kaepernick was paid by George Soros to pull this stunt.. Soros pays for all of the “fake” protestors at all of these “fake” events like Ferguson and now Charlotte..

    What you see on tv is not real!!!

  112. scttanderson says: Sep 23, 2016 12:11 PM

    I don’t understand the argument, “what about blacks killing blacks?!”. The violence in a community is almost directly related socioeconomics and many black communities have been the poorest for well, forever. The cause of that is a different discussion. there are activist working on that and there has been a dramatic improvement over the last 30 years. So the argument is basically, “why should we care about police killing unarmed black men when there has been a black on black violence epidemic?”. They are both issues that need to be, and are being addressed. They aren’t counter arguments.

    And dikta can say whatever the heck he wants. I just think he sounds awfully bitter about a young man peacefully protesting in a way he thinks is best. That kind of resentment towards a peaceful protester with all the other things to be pissed about in this country is just a little worrisome to me. Especially when people on here are so quick to echo is sentiment. But hey, say whatever the heck you want.

  113. xplicitpits says: Sep 23, 2016 12:12 PM

    And this retard Randyin Roxbury is just losing in a thumbs up thumbs down poll!

    Ditka’s remarks are old and decrepit like AMERICAS JUSTICE SYSTEM! Be aware of hearing black lives matter. That’s a ploy to separate Whites & Blacks in an issue of our Justice System! They’re doing the same to Whites it’s just largely going unnoticed at this time. That being said, it’s by no means on the same scale as blacks be

    RandyinRoxbury says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:32 AM
    Thank you Coach Ditka for saying what most real American’s are thinking!
    To much drama for a backup QB with no accuracy.

    99 136
    Report comment

  114. truevision21 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:12 PM

    Ditka makes racist comments frequently. Exponentially ignorant. This ain’t about the flag, silly.

  115. bengalsfreedom says: Sep 23, 2016 12:12 PM

    It’s the hypocrisy of everyone involved, as we are all very protectionist in regard to our own best self interests.

    From the eco mongers that still drive a fuel powered car, to athletes that protest but haven’t spent an ounce of their time or money to specifically help whatever cause they are speaking about or only have the very freedom to protest and yet refuse to stand for the people that have given their lives to allow them to have that very freedom, to someone like Ditka not understanding the ability to protest in any form is an essential freedom that led to our own liberty.

    The only problem I have is with any one who is not proactively contributing to society if they physically and mentally have the capacity to do so. There is absolutely no reason to not be a productive member of our society to contribute to the betterment of everyone that lives in this great country of ours.

  116. redsoxu571 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:13 PM

    Here’s the REAL thing about the freedom to act in a certain way: it doesn’t make it right for you to do so.

    And Colin Kaepernick IS wrong, in two ways. First, he is wrong to overtly act in a way that explicitly dishonors this country for the sake of a single issue. Just because you think something needs to be changed doesn’t mean you should act disrespectfully – that would be like shouting in anger during someone’s funeral because he once stiffed you out of some money (clearly, that was wrong of the other person to do, but that is not the time and place to act). The National Anthem is a time to acknowledge our respect for the nation AS A WHOLE and that the nation is a net positive. Today’s society engages in an ugly practice of erasing all the good someone or something has done on the basis of a single, not-good-but-still-forgivable basis.

    Second, Kaepernick is simply wrong about the issue he is acting on. Police violence may or may not be an issue, and if he were speaking out against that it would be fair. But he is speaking out only for police violence against African Americans and is perpetuating the FALSE notion that that community is targeted and/or the subject of police violence at a greater degree than it should.

    Acting in a wrong way for a false cause is worthy of all the negative reactions it garners. Period, end of story.

  117. staff2cj says: Sep 23, 2016 12:13 PM

    Thank you espn for removing this old racist clown

  118. dietrich43 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:13 PM

    Ditka thinks that President Obama is the “worst president we’ve ever had”. Maybe Ditka should have left in 2009. Or does Ditka think it’s ok to disrespect the Commander-in-Chief?

  119. shadywarrior says: Sep 23, 2016 12:13 PM

    That’s the #1 idiotic, lowest common denominator, brainwashed response to this topic, or any other issue related to patriotism/nationalism. Ditka will never be confused with a Rhodes Scholar.

  120. lonewizard says: Sep 23, 2016 12:13 PM

    Why is it OK for Kaepernick to exercise his right of free speech but Ditka gets ridiculed for exercising his right of free speech.

  121. 65impala says: Sep 23, 2016 12:14 PM

    Florio you have the right to disagree with Ditka, But he has the right to say if you don’t like this Country then get the Hell out. You seem to forget Ditka’s rights. Just like I say to you if you don’t like this Country then get the Hell out, that’s my right, and don’t forget it!!!

  122. favreisadouche says: Sep 23, 2016 12:14 PM

    Racist Trumper

  123. FoozieGrooler says: Sep 23, 2016 12:14 PM

    Hey Mike.
    What about all of the brain-dead rednecks in Texas, who have been whining about secesssion for decades now?
    When are they gonna pack up and leave??
    ..and frankly, what’s stopping them?

  124. 65impala says: Sep 23, 2016 12:15 PM

    Vote Trump

  125. shlort says: Sep 23, 2016 12:15 PM

    Ditka speaks his mind, never mentions race and is immediately labeled a racist by the liberal lemmings. Then again, liberals only know what they are told, so the truth (liberals do not seek truth, only liberal “news”) about all these protests would never faze any of them. Kaepernick is wrong mostly because the protest is based on a lie. “Hands up, don’t shoot” never happened. When a neighborhood is 90% African American, odds and statistics would show 90% of interaction with law enforcement will be with African Americans. And we could assume 90% of citations and arrests would likely be African Americans. Manipulate statistics to fit the liberal narrative and it is all racism and cops are targeting African Americans. The whole thing is ridiculous. What is more ridiculous is the liberal perception.

  126. janvanflac says: Sep 23, 2016 12:15 PM

    Ditka is an idiot. How come it’s ok for an a-h0le like Trump to say bad things about America, but it’s not ok for Kapernick to criticize it?

    F right wing blowhards like Ditka. They are the biggest problem this country has.

  127. Getoffmylawn! says: Sep 23, 2016 12:15 PM

    And stay off it!

  128. tfarr45 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:15 PM

    This country was founded on protest . That’s why it was called the American Revolution. You can’t on the one hand , boast about the freedoms that this country gives , and when someone disagrees or is exercising that freedom to disagree , want them silenced or expelled from the country . That would seem to put one with that type of thinking in league with countries such as China , Russia , North Korea , etc , where the right to disagree is suppressed or outright silenced . I would suggest that maybe Mr. Ditka and others with that sort of thinking need to study a history book , current world affairs , current national news , or better yet , take your own advice – if you don’t like people exercising their right or freedom to disagree , then maybe YOU should get out of the country and go to one where that type of thinking is practiced.

  129. deadspindeluxe says: Sep 23, 2016 12:16 PM

    DA BEARERS OF PATRIOTIC RACISM!

  130. bencoates57 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:16 PM

    America offers no advantages right now. My parents in 1972 were given a $39, 900 mortgage on a brand new 5 bedroom Colonial in metro NYC with no degrees between them and a combined salary of 13k. I have a PhD and 25 years experience bit have been out if work more often than not since 2000 and for all but 3 months since 2012. I have filed chapter 7 and currently live on welfare. No. Thus country us no longer great.

  131. vipod4ever says: Sep 23, 2016 12:17 PM

    Believe Archie Bunker said those same words in ’72. America has come a long way baby…smh!

  132. Moyda says: Sep 23, 2016 12:17 PM

    Da Bears!!

  133. justbhouse2 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:18 PM

    ESPN to Mike Ditka,

    Get the hell out

  134. xplicitpits says: Sep 23, 2016 12:18 PM

    And this retard Randyin Roxbury is just losing in a thumbs up thumbs down poll!

    Dirks’ remarks are old and decrepit like AMERICAS JUSTICE SYSTEM! Be aware of hearing black lives matter. That’s a ploy to separate Whites & Blacks in an issue of our Justice System! They’re doing the same to Whites it’s just largely going unnoticed at this time. That being said, it’s by no means on the same scale as blacks because our Justice System is being ran by WHITE OLD FREEMASON BIGOTS! People saying you’re against this country, citing anti-cop anti-vet, are disgracing REAL COPS AND VETS WHO DIED FOR OUR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS TO BE TRAMPLED ON BY THESE SAME CORRUPT OFFICIALS IN OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM!

    RandyinRoxbury says
    Sep 23, 2016 11:32 AM
    Thank you Coach Ditka for saying what most real American’s are thinking!
    To much drama for a backup QB with no accuracy.

    99 136
    Report comment

  135. dohczeppelin says: Sep 23, 2016 12:18 PM

    RandyinRoxbury says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:32 AM

    Thank you Coach Ditka for saying what most real American’s are thinking!
    To much drama for a backup QB with no accuracy.
    ___________________________________

    The fact that people like you think you’re the “real” Americans and he isn’t a “real” American because he thinks differently than you is a perfect example of what he is talking about…

    The streak of authoritarianism that runs in this country is terrifying. “Agree with me or leave!” illustrates a profound failure of intellect.

  136. gauchosporlife says: Sep 23, 2016 12:19 PM

    CTE?

  137. dumbaseinstien says: Sep 23, 2016 12:19 PM

    Too many poeple trying to use Racism as an excuse for them not taking responsibility for their own choices…

    If people act respectful, they are treated respecfully.
    If people treat others with kindness, kindness is returned to them.
    If people act honorably, honor is bestowed upon them.
    If people show consideration, others will show them consideration.

    This is not something that is limited to certain demographic groups. These are fundamental facts that apply to everyone. Without a doubt there are people in the World without a moral compass whose selfish actions can & should be condemned. Some of those people spread hate, like Colin Kaepernick. His actions in no way demonstrate honor, kindness, respect or consideration for all the people who have lived & died so he could have a free voice. Many of those he dishonors fought for his same cause, and those people are also represented by the U.S. Flag. The U.S. Flag represents both the good & the bad, the rights & the wrongs of this nation. But the days when certain groups were treated differently is long gone. Today, the only distinction between the “different groups” is character. Some have character, others just expect the return without putting forth the effort. Unfortunate for those that don’t realize the reality of the World is that you only get back what you put in. Be the person who deserves respect & you will have respect. Be the person who inspires hate, and you will be hated.

    And that isn’t based on a color.

  138. flybirdhaters27 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:20 PM

    If he doesn’t see the atrocities that are going on in this country, then he’s blind or he doesn’t want to see them. I didn’t know this country belonged to him anyway, but he misses the point of the protests.

  139. jag1959 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:20 PM

    John X says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:40 AM
    Florio, you can’t have a logical debate with conservatives over this….
    _______________

    So your all encompassing tolerance fails to encompass conservatives? Interesting that.
    You would undoubtedly call me a conservative and a conservative would call me a liberal but that is only because both of you are so far to the left or right you can’t see the middle and neither can your respective parties. It’s ironic considering that’s where most of us are.
    I am a veteran and I see few of us posting here saying Kaepernick is not within his rights to protest as his conscience drives him. I do take issue with a guy wearing a Castro shirt talking about oppression and speaking about inclusion while wearing pig socks but that’s my own personal form of bigotry, I can’t abide a hypocrite. As for other players choosing the anthem as the appropriate venue for protest I don’t have to like it but I do have to recognize they are within their rights to do so and not caring for the method does not invalidate the message.

  140. whooligun says: Sep 23, 2016 12:21 PM

    Ignorance is bliss?

  141. dougchillin says: Sep 23, 2016 12:21 PM

    no country is free. Money = freedom, everyone knows that.

  142. Salamano says: Sep 23, 2016 12:22 PM

    This whole thing is hilarious…

    It’s a never-ending appeal to free speech that should both permit and shut down all criticism and/or praise.

    You can’t say that Kapernick is entitled to his words unless Ditka is as well. Can’t get upset at Ditka’s criticism while also not being upset at that of Kapernick — except, the exact opposite is true as well.
    So then, what’s the point of any of this exercise if logically all of it is fine? This self-contradicting
    mess of free-speech invocation only serves to manifest our own biases/opinions on the original subject– in this case, police brutality.

  143. eddiea25 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:23 PM

    Extreme right wingers never disappoint you, never look at the big picture, and only interested in fattening their wallets.

  144. timmmah10 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:23 PM

    WHY IS THIS STILL A TOPIC. THERE ARE PLAYERS PROTESTING! WE GOT THE MESSAGE!

    Perpetuating this in an endless media stream of old men screaming “Get off my lawn” and people with their brains on pointing out that this is a real issue in America has reach complete shark jumping proportions. It’s getting in the way of real NFL news (not just the player agendas that they are getting into the news) and now that we’re in week 3, this is becoming a problem. The players need to do something besides just kneel, raise a fist, etc, and that will give credibility to their cause. Kaep did it with the donation. Where are the other players putting their money where there fists are? If we’re going to cover this further, let’s cover what’s being done OUTSIDE of the anthem! We are more than aware of what is being done during the anthem at this point.

  145. 40for60alldaybaby says: Sep 23, 2016 12:24 PM

    Nobody’s ever accused Ditka of being a big thinker; he should stick to stories about the ’85 Bears…

  146. cribbage12 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:25 PM

    Dikta.

  147. wvtbred says: Sep 23, 2016 12:26 PM

    Funny how it’s ok to say what many are against Coach but not ok for him to say what he feels about the inactive QB that wear’s #7 for SF.

    Yes it’s his right to say how he feels and it’s ok for me to agree with him.

    Keep it up Coach, LOVE that you are not PC!

  148. sidepull says: Sep 23, 2016 12:27 PM

    I could see Ditka taking on the role of Captain America when he was younger.

    Kap made a point and now anybody and everybody make a point off his his point. Pointless.

  149. byHim4u says: Sep 23, 2016 12:27 PM

    He’s an ignorant, old man who has his big head in the sand who ‘thinks’ he’s right and that everybody should listen to him.

  150. wvtbred says: Sep 23, 2016 12:27 PM

    truevision21 says:
    Sep 23, 2016 12:12 PM
    Ditka makes racist comments frequently. Exponentially ignorant. This ain’t about the flag, silly.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    If it isn’t about the flag then the flag shouldn’t be used as a tool to push a personal agenda, PERIOD.

  151. ninerfansincebirth says: Sep 23, 2016 12:28 PM

    I truly don’t understand anyone who says to kap if you don’t like it get out. He is only exercising his rights as an American. That’s all, you may like what he’s saying, you may not, you may agree with how he’s doing it, you may not, but that is all he’s doing. So the true statement is if you don’t like it than you need to get out. It’s been said before and I’ll say it again if you are to truly have freedom then your symbol of freedom has to be more than a flag. he didn’t burn the flag, he simply didn’t stand, he didn’t hold a press conference, he simply didn’t stand, which is his right and is not only a freedom but exemplifies what America is about. People pretend to love freedom and be so called patriots while being disgusted when someone exercises that freedom telling them what? If you want to use your constitutional rights then get out? It’s absolutely the most ignorant thing I have ever heard of. Truthfully if it bothers someone that much than they don’t want freedom they want blind obedience and there are countries in the world that demand just that and perhaps that’s where all of you should go. I’m not a person who would do what kap did not do I think all the police shootings were unjustified but can at least grasp that to a black person in a position to affect change may way to take advantage of his platform to do so. Cause let’s be honest some of the shootings or brutality were probably unjustified but it’s not my fight or something I feel strong enough to protest and I stand tall hand over heart for the anthem and it’s important to me but I love this country and what it stands for and when I see a peaceful protest by a free American hoping to affect a positive change I feel a great deal of pride in that as well. But if that’s not something you can live with then by all means how did you put it’. Get the hell out!

  152. buffalostarwarsfan says: Sep 23, 2016 12:29 PM

    Thank you Coach Ditka for saying what most real American’s are thinking!
    To much drama for a backup QB with no accuracy.

    —-

    Silently taking a knee = drama. OK. Noted.

  153. sopadegato says: Sep 23, 2016 12:29 PM

    Super Bowls:

    Mike Ditka: 3
    Colin Kaepernick: 0

    I think that speaks for itself.

  154. sidepull says: Sep 23, 2016 12:30 PM

    Oh yea your chronic attempts to be funny with the digs at the end of all your articles are not very funny.
    You keep trying but you really stink at it.

  155. laces out says: Sep 23, 2016 12:30 PM

    I don’t agree with his statement but there’s a lot of irony with people calling Ditka racist and proceeding to point out the color of his skin and his age.

  156. jmethane says: Sep 23, 2016 12:31 PM

    Who is the tool above me blaming racism on Barack obama?

    It just started flowing louder from people in your community once he became your commander in chief.

    Are you 12?

  157. ksiner says: Sep 23, 2016 12:32 PM

    Sounds like grumpy old Mike is the one that doesn’t like America in specific the Constitution and the right to free speech. If anyone should leave it’s Mike

  158. a1b24312 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:32 PM

    Warts and all, this country’s already great. No need to “make it great again”.

  159. dtroxallday says: Sep 23, 2016 12:32 PM

    Teddy2Tready says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:53 AM
    Thank you Mike!

    Sincerely,

    Everybody
    ========================
    I realize that everyone’s into the “freedom of speech” thing , but that does NOT mean that YOU speak for ME. So don’t.

  160. orangecrush47 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:32 PM

    Heck yeah coach!! 100% agree

  161. mitchaz says: Sep 23, 2016 12:32 PM

    I’d rather have Colin Kaepernick in my country than Mike Ditka.

    Apparently Ditka has no idea what it is like to be discriminated against every day of one’s life.

    Sad that the lessons he should have learned from the likes of Walter Payton have fallen on such deaf, ignorant ears.

  162. Robert W. Stone says: Sep 23, 2016 12:33 PM

    I swear I saw a man yesterday who looked just like Ditka. Standing at an intersection, burrito beans glomming on to his beard, had a dirty cardboard sign that read “will rant for food”.

    Dementia, and I’m not talking early-stage.

  163. buffalostarwarsfan says: Sep 23, 2016 12:33 PM

    Florio you have the right to disagree with Ditka, But he has the right to say if you don’t like this Country then get the Hell out. You seem to forget Ditka’s rights. Just like I say to you if you don’t like this Country then get the Hell out, that’s my right, and don’t forget it!!!

    —-

    Yeah, he seems to forget, except the part where he wrote: “And while Ditka is free to tell people who make a conscientious decision not to stand for the anthem to “get the hell out,” that attitude reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be an American citizen.”

    Reading comprehension.

  164. bullcharger says: Sep 23, 2016 12:34 PM

    varangia says:
    Sep 23, 2016 12:06 PM

    Once again, it has nothing do with freedom. (As usual, liberals analysis is incorrect). You don’t have freedom of speech at work. You do have the right to get off private property, head out to the sidewalk and protest all you like, if you’re off the clock.

    ————-

    True, but the protest didn’t break any NFL policies and they are allowing it.

  165. nflinvegas says: Sep 23, 2016 12:34 PM

    This Wolf is Sheep’s clothing is nothing more than a dangerous cult leader.

    Irony: He went to school with another wolf Brandon Marshall at Nevada(Reno) home of the WOLF Pack.

    Coach Mike Ditka in 2016!!!!!

  166. kst2074 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:34 PM

    The FACTS SHOW THAT KAP AND ALL HIS LIBERAL RADICAL FRIENDS ARE NOT CORRECT. BUT THEY CHOOSE TO IGNORE FACTS TO PUSH A LIBERAL AGENDA, SAME THING THE DEMOCRATS DO

  167. flaccojumpball says: Sep 23, 2016 12:36 PM

    Old racist Ditka. Too bad that we can’t hear your racist views anymore. Of course you want Colin to be a good little boy and do what you tell him to do. Better seen not heard, am I right? Ban the racist anthem and anyone who supports it. Black Lives Matter is all that matters in this country right now and for good reason. No more holding non whites down!

  168. wizahdry says: Sep 23, 2016 12:36 PM

    Our freedoms work both ways. Dorks is doing the same thing Kaepernik did and expressing himself. Yes people have the right to protest or not stand up to salute the flag…but I. The other side….people have the freedom to respond to those actions and say how they feel about it. Can’t have it both ways and say that Ditka is depriving Nik of his American freedom by excercising his own.

  169. thermalito says: Sep 23, 2016 12:37 PM

    mitchaz: yea Krapperdik’s had it real tough. Grew up in a wealthy family, went to college for free and is now making millions to be a backup QB. If thats “discrimination” sign me up.
    Walter Payton didn’t hate America or blame his societies problems on others. It doesn’t get much more ignorant than left wing race bait filth like yourself.

  170. liongator says: Sep 23, 2016 12:37 PM

    Gee thanks for the condescending lecture on American rights, because we haven’t heard about them endlessly by now.
    Now go drink a big hot cup of DITKA.

  171. icallitlikeiseeit67 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:39 PM

    colorinfusion says:
    Sep 23, 2016 12:09 PM

    All Kaepernick did was not stand while the Star Spangled Banner was being sung.

    He didn’t stand up and shoot his fist in the air.

    He didn’t run around screaming like a banshee.

    He had a silent protest for something he believes in.

    Why do so many people think that anyone with a lot of money somehow forfeit their right to have an opinion and use whatever platform they have available to them to voice that opinion.

    Colin Kaepernick, whether you agree or not, has every right to protest what he feels is an inequitable reality for many people of color in this country.

    Mike Ditka, again whether you agree or not, has every right to say that Kaepernick is wrong.

    What I do take issue with what Ditka said is that he (Kaepernick) “should get the hell out”.

    Being able to voice one’s opinion was so important to our Founding Fathers, it is in the very first Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

    So I find it ironic that Ditka, using his 1st Amendment rights to tell Kaepernick, using his 1st Amendment rights to leave this country just because he disagrees with what Kaepernick is doing. SMH

    ************************************************

    This is the most intelligent comment here very fair and well thought out….kudos dude

  172. thermalito says: Sep 23, 2016 12:40 PM

    buffalostarwarsfan: wow. Good things we have Mike Florio to teach us all what the true meaning of being an American is. What you clowns don’t seem to get is the fact the reaction Kaepernick is receiving is pretty much the exact same reaction he would receive in any country on this Earth engaging in the same behavior. Ditka is correct in telling a guy who calls the country which allowed him to make millions “oppressive” to hit the road. Why would you want to stay in an oppressive country?

  173. classicfinder says: Sep 23, 2016 12:41 PM

    Ditka has turned into the old leprechaun dude from Lucky Charms.

  174. carloswlassiter says: Sep 23, 2016 12:41 PM

    ducknichols50 says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:38 AM

    maybe you should follow your own advice and respect Ditkas opinion and “right” to have an opinion? Or, does it not work that way for you?
    ————————————————————
    Are you really trying to argue that the right of free speech means Ditka can try to suppress someone else’s right to free speech?

  175. mmack66 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:42 PM

    varangia says:
    Sep 23, 2016 12:06 PM

    Once again, it has nothing do with freedom. (As usual, liberals analysis is incorrect). You don’t have freedom of speech at work.
    ————————-

    You don’t? Damn, dude, you should find a new place to work.

  176. skol4life says: Sep 23, 2016 12:42 PM

    The liberals in the media love wrapping their arms around the 1st amendment until someone disagrees with them. Then those people need to shut up. Good for you Coach!!

  177. jimjets says: Sep 23, 2016 12:42 PM

    MD was a great ball player, a good coach who had his moment in the sun in 85 and then a decent “analyst”.

    He’s a hardcore conservative republican who is intellectually incapable of understanding that speaking up when bad things happen and loving your country aren’t mutually exclusive.

    He should have a blanket over his knees at lunch time, be given some warm milk and patted on the head gently as his nurse comforts him.

  178. buffalostarwarsfan says: Sep 23, 2016 12:43 PM

    Nobody is saying Kaepernick doesn’t have the freedom to do what he is doing. The point is that these social engineers stopped being constructive a long time ago. The whole “we love the place but just want to improve it” line wore thin a long time ago, even before our own President traveled around the world apologizing to a bunch of repressive theocracies and autocracies that don’t have racism precisely because they don’t let anyone different live there in the first place. And now race relations are at their lowest point in 50 years, cities are burning, and you still claim you are helping. There have been actual invasions of the U.S. that caused less violence and burning. In this election cycle the Democrats have burned more U.S. cities than the Germans and Japanese managed in WWII combined — and mostly cities you control in the first place. Stop being the problem and the problem will go away.

    ——

    Maybe race relations are so bad because the second a black guy got elected President, half of the country started claiming he wasn’t American, he was a Muslim (which, believe it or not, doesn’t prevent you from being President!) and years later still claims his birth certificate is fake.

    Those people aren’t responsible at all, I guess.

  179. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Sep 23, 2016 12:44 PM

    war27 says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:38 AM

    Sooner or later the Buick customers will be gone and it will be a better place.
    ———————————————————

    haha, you wish. I don’t have a buick but I do have 3 children, one of which is a 19 year old Marine and he is even more conservative than I am.
    We are not going anywhere!
    fish dung>kaep

  180. buffalostarwarsfan says: Sep 23, 2016 12:45 PM

    Nobody is saying Kaepernick doesn’t have the freedom to do what he is doing. The point is that these social engineers stopped being constructive a long time ago. The whole “we love the place but just want to improve it” line wore thin a long time ago, even before our own President traveled around the world apologizing to a bunch of repressive theocracies and autocracies that don’t have racism precisely because they don’t let anyone different live there in the first place. And now race relations are at their lowest point in 50 years, cities are burning, and you still claim you are helping. There have been actual invasions of the U.S. that caused less violence and burning. In this election cycle the Democrats have burned more U.S. cities than the Germans and Japanese managed in WWII combined — and mostly cities you control in the first place. Stop being the problem and the problem will go away.

    ——-

    I wonder if the people who lost their mind when a black guy got elected and claimed a) he’s not American b) he’s a Muslim (which isn’t a problem – Muslims are legally allowed to run for office) and c) that his birth certificate is fake because they have no other argument, have contributed to the bad race relations in the country. Just a thought.

  181. sweetnlow44 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:45 PM

    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  182. mmack66 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:46 PM

    wizahdry says:
    Sep 23, 2016 12:36 PM

    Our freedoms work both ways. Dorks is doing the same thing Kaepernik did and expressing himself. Yes people have the right to protest or not stand up to salute the flag…but I. The other side….people have the freedom to respond to those actions and say how they feel about it. Can’t have it both ways and say that Ditka is depriving Nik of his American freedom by excercising his own.
    —————————

    And people have the right to tell Ditka he is an idiot for his un-American love it or leave it nonsense.

    It’s a vicious circle.

  183. jvw1982 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:46 PM

    Hey Ditka if you don’t like our constitution you get the hell out…..

  184. rastanati says: Sep 23, 2016 12:47 PM

    This is obviously a very dividing subject. IMO what people tend to forget is despite the many issues we have in America, this is still the greatest country on earth. Yes, we have a lot of improvement yet to make but how is disrespecting our flag the appropriate response to any injustice? While Mr Ditka’s response is harsh, travel to other parts of the world and then compare the levels of injustice. If a football player truly wants to get involved with reform they have plenty of resources to make meaningful change – not just the publicity stunts that are going on during the national anthem.

  185. truevision21 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:48 PM

    23, 2016 12:12 PM
    Ditka makes racist comments frequently. Exponentially ignorant. This ain’t about the flag, silly.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    If it isn’t about the flag then the flag shouldn’t be used as a tool to push a personal agenda, PERIOD.

    *******************************************Personal agenda? You appear to be as ignorant as Ditka. Walk a mile in my shoes….wait, I better not….might get shot!

    Read the 3rd verse….wow! Get your foot off my neck!

  186. icallitlikeiseeit67 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:49 PM

    for the uniformed………

    The act of Kneeling: Socially, kneeling, similar to bowing, is associated with reverence, submission and obeisance, particularly if one kneels before a person who is standing or sitting: the kneeling position renders a person defenseless and unable to flee.

    I would agree sitting down was disrespectful and after talking to vets he went to the kneel that my friends is called having an open mind about “his” stance, and altering how he tries to get the message out…… I would challenge everyone to try it sometimes you may actually learn something.

  187. truthdispensary says: Sep 23, 2016 12:49 PM

    The true irony of this whole debacle is the same people disrespecting the American Flag & condeming the Country they live within are the very same people desperately clinging to the “Right to Free Speech” afforded to them by the U.S. Flag & all it represents.

    Liberals truly are a deleriously confused group….

  188. granadafan says: Sep 23, 2016 12:50 PM

    Quote from the article: “I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.”

    =====================================

    Ding ding ding. That quote says it right there about people like Ditka and many other far right wingers wrapping themselves in the flag and are bashing Kaepernick. You don’t see the atrocities because you aren’t black or a minority. Just because YOU don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening and is not a real issue. These so-called “patriots” are utterly incapable of seeing the message and are solely focused on the action of not standing for the national anthem.

    This is complete ignorance and blind “patriotism” at its worst.

  189. omeimontis says: Sep 23, 2016 12:50 PM

    What does Ditka say to those people who think that America is so bad that they need Trump to make America great again? Get out of the country? Of course not, because those Trump supporters are white folks and Kap is black. Ditka will never tell white folks to get out of the country even if they don’t like it. If you are not white, then people like Ditka will tell you to shut up or get out of the country.

  190. guyjuneguyjune says: Sep 23, 2016 12:51 PM

    K can say want he want…but he should not be allowed to us the NFL platform to do it. Let him go out in street cloths to “the hood” and do it. Fans are paying to see NFL football, not K to do his thing…not in an NFL venue.

  191. bigbluefandom says: Sep 23, 2016 12:52 PM

    It’s amazing how little people have understanding what democracy means. What rights the Constitution affords us. There are MANY things we do not like or agree with, but everyone has the right to express themselves as long as it is legal. False patriotism is what dictatorship is all about. Love your leaders and country 100% WITHOUT questioning. It is perfectly ok to disagree with Kaepernick. But he has the RIGHT to do what he is doing. Ditka is an idiot. Who made him an expert on Constitutional rights? Amazing how uneducated most people are in this country. Try visiting the National Archives in Washington DC and read the original copy of the Constitution and then comprehend it.

  192. richardernsberger says: Sep 23, 2016 12:52 PM

    Ditka with another of his “get off my lawn!” 1950s moments.

  193. dohczeppelin says: Sep 23, 2016 12:52 PM

    lonewizard says:
    Sep 23, 2016 12:13 PM

    Why is it OK for Kaepernick to exercise his right of free speech but Ditka gets ridiculed for exercising his right of free speech.
    _____________________________________

    I’m not ridiculing him for exercising his rights, or telling him that he can’t continue to exercise rights, or telling him to leave. I’m ridiculing him because his character is lacking and because his ideas are stupid. There is a huge difference.

  194. hairpie2 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:54 PM

    So Ditka thinks its right for cops to kill anyone they want? Is that until its a relative? I love the moronic “if you dont like it leave” comments… whats next “i know you are but what am i?”

  195. packerenglishmajor says: Sep 23, 2016 12:55 PM

    I used to like Ditka.
    This is kind of sad to see.

    After Tulsa and Charlotte there is a good chance all players will take a knee this weekend.

  196. CowboyErik says: Sep 23, 2016 12:55 PM

    Watch WHERE TO INVADE NEXT? DOCUMENTARY, then see what you think

  197. djvh2 says: Sep 23, 2016 12:55 PM

    “please tell me what a thoughtful protest would look like to you? What would make you comfortable and not upset you? How can the mean, rich, disrespectful athletes proceed in a protest that will please you?”

    I respect his right to protest. What would make it “look good” to me is if it was based on honesty instead of an agenda. If Kap etc are willing to be honest about what is going on and that it’s not all police fault, then I will have respect for his protest. As long as the position is that it’s all police fault and none of these people did anything wrong, then he’s just supporting the current leaders agenda and creating division.

  198. rhusby28 says: Sep 23, 2016 1:00 PM

    If the flag gives you a right to run your mouth how ever you see fit then why not stand for it? Standing together for the national anthem was the only thing this county did together before. It didn’t have anything to do with race and hate. Man what a messed up time we are living in!

  199. lctftjc says: Sep 23, 2016 1:02 PM

    How is sitting during the anthem going to help the cause?! Those actions are cheap if you ask me. If he really cared about what’s going on he should act upon it and work with both sides to try and understand what’s really going on. Figuring out the core issues and listening to what the mainstream media report are two completely different things.

  200. whywerule says: Sep 23, 2016 1:08 PM

    Memo to Mike Ditka, if you don’t like the First Amendment, which appears to be the case, move to Russia, or North Korea.

  201. landofthefreehomeoftheoffended says: Sep 23, 2016 1:08 PM

    He’s protesting against an anthem and a flag that actually gives him the right to protest….Doesn’t make much sense to me. I’m all for exercising your first amendment rights to raise awareness, but when it comes to DISRESPECTING THE SYMBOLS THAT GIVE YOU THOSE RIGHTS TO BEGIN WITH – than you’re out of your mind and you can get the hell out of our country if you have no respect for it. ESPECIALLY on a day like 9/11. Protest another way..Some role model you are for the kids, you clowns.

  202. hairpie2 says: Sep 23, 2016 1:08 PM

    Ditka doesnt seem to realize the people disrespecting the flag are the ones sworn to honor it and serve the citzens under it.

  203. jjeastwald says: Sep 23, 2016 1:09 PM

    Amen brother! I’d even drive him to the airport if him don’t like this country.

    There’s other ways to cry for attention. If I did that at work I’d get fired.

  204. jspyle says: Sep 23, 2016 1:09 PM

    Isn’t that what the English said to us in 1776?????

  205. jimmysee says: Sep 23, 2016 1:11 PM

    Mike Ditka — another country heard from.

  206. junkmtb says: Sep 23, 2016 1:11 PM

    No Ditka can get the H out!! This is what’s wrong with the country now! The good ole boys continue to refuse to GET IT!! He’s kneeling for injustice of all people of color not just black and Ditka instead of being a MAN and saying yeah we have issues in this country concerning race and we all need to get together and come up with solutions, you simply say GET OUT! Yep buddy boy that will fix it! Let’s start with you packing first coach!!!!! And take Trump with you!

  207. jjeastwald says: Sep 23, 2016 1:13 PM

    whywerule says:
    Sep 23, 2016 1:08 PM

    Memo to Mike Ditka, if you don’t like the First Amendment, which appears to be the case, move to Russia, or North Korea.
    ——————————————————-
    Might be the dumbest thing I’ve heard yet. Congratulations. The First Amendment help Mike Ditka? How about Schilling? I didn’t think so.

  208. black59razorblog says: Sep 23, 2016 1:15 PM

    Once again, Mike Ditka proves what a small minded Neanderthal he really is. His opinion is not worth the time it took to print it.

  209. wolfgangvomframps says: Sep 23, 2016 1:16 PM

    Cowboyfan black people are disrespectful? Hey, do you spend much time wondering why people people keep calling you racist?

  210. edon8334 says: Sep 23, 2016 1:18 PM

    The majority of ppl feel the same way Ditka feels unfortunately

  211. ts1960 says: Sep 23, 2016 1:19 PM

    Why is that that an act protected by the Constitution is met with such lunacy?

  212. fordbw says: Sep 23, 2016 1:20 PM

    Ditka is a simpleton and incapable of formulating an intelligent argument.

  213. raider8er says: Sep 23, 2016 1:21 PM

    Thanks Florio for another good article.

  214. mudmandenny says: Sep 23, 2016 1:21 PM

    Read the article carefully several times . I did not see where Kaepernik invited anyone to leave. End of comparison. It is not Mike Ditka`s nor is it anyone else posting here`s country. It belongs to all of us and each is entitled to their own individual beliefs, like them or not.

  215. dallaswun2100 says: Sep 23, 2016 1:21 PM

    The sad thing is that the majority of the black community who place themselves in heated confrontations with law enforcement wouldn’t be having this discussion if they weren’t in the situations that many practice everyday. (grand theft auto, brandishing a weapon or firearm,etc) Why doesn’t anyone speak up about that instead of saying poor me, feel sorry for me. Wake up people! SMH

  216. mikek50 says: Sep 23, 2016 1:24 PM

    As an old 1960’s leftover white guy, past my mid-60’s, who marched in Civil Rights marches, protested the Vietnam War, including at 1968 DNC Convention, then was drafted and served in Vietnam, I defend & respect Colin’s & all other’s rights to protest. Mike Ditka is an embarrassment & a racist buffoon!! Where was Mike Ditka when I was getting shot at, playing his privileged football !!

  217. packfanaj12 says: Sep 23, 2016 1:25 PM

    People take the kneel as hate… it’s not hate… it’s to bring attention becuase he cares… Caring is not hating… Grow up people.

  218. margoadams says: Sep 23, 2016 1:27 PM

    If You Are Being Oppressed in This Great Country It’s On You. Look In The Mirror For The Culprit. Kudos Mike Ditka!

  219. ejmanuelshands says: Sep 23, 2016 1:34 PM

    As a Trump supporter, Ditka should know that you don’t simply get to choose the country in which you want to live. It’s a lot more complicated than that.

  220. johnnyballsack says: Sep 23, 2016 1:36 PM

    Kap does not get the core problem or even address it. If you do not want to get shot by police then do not commit crimes, do not point guns at cops, do not resist arrest and do not flee when a cop asks you to stop. Sure, a few cops (black and white cops) have gone rogue (against black and white suspects) but the majority of police shootings are done to protect themselves or the public in the act of a crime.

    I have been stopped and questioned by police about crimes that I did not commit. I stopped, showed my ID when asked, did not pull out a gun or even have one, answered the questions politely, and was sent on my way. Pretty easy directions to follow to avoid the possibility of being shot if you ask me.

  221. biggredbird76 says: Sep 23, 2016 1:37 PM

    He never said he did not like the country

  222. steveylang says: Sep 23, 2016 1:40 PM

    Patriotism over Principles!!

  223. saint9904 says: Sep 23, 2016 1:46 PM

    Lets stop and think about this for a minute….

    * Kaep protest how things are in America because he wants change. He is applauded for standing up for his beliefs.

    * Ditka stands up for his beliefs and speaks out against Kaep. Same group applauding Kaep for speaking up are criticizing Ditka for speaking up!

    You can’t have it both ways people!!! Regardless if you agree with what is being said everyone has an opinion and they right to share it.

  224. mmack66 says: Sep 23, 2016 1:48 PM

    jspyle says:
    Sep 23, 2016 1:09 PM

    Isn’t that what the English said to us in 1776?????
    —————————-

    I think we told them to get the hell out.

  225. steelerben says: Sep 23, 2016 1:51 PM

    Let’s all just pretend for a moment that this is not a Republican or Democrat issue. When a large segment of society loses faith in the fact that innocence matters to the police force that we are all less safe. This is not just an issue of black or white skin. This is an issue that impacts all of us.

    Wrapping yourself in blind nationalism is NOT patriotism. Screaming love it or leave it is not demonstrating what it means to be a “real” American. Making use of your rights to try to better your country is being a patriot. Voting, protesting peacefully, and volunteering in your community makes you a patriot. Waiving a flag with your fingers in your ears while people die needlessly does nothing.

    Someone asked what Kaepernick kneeling is accomplishing. Well, it is keeping this topic in the national media. It is forcing dialogue. The officer in Tulsa is facing charges for taking a man’s life. That is justice. It is getting meetings with police commissioners to discuss how to better train officers and set policies so that people don’t have to die because of their skin color.

    If you ask me who the real patriot is here, I’ll tell you Kaep. He has, through actions that are causing him a good deal of personal and professional harm, helped bring focus on a topic that needs to be addressed.

  226. sire703 says: Sep 23, 2016 1:52 PM

    The baby boomer generation is labeled as the ” the greatest generation”.

    I think it’s time we re-think that.

  227. tqaztec says: Sep 23, 2016 1:55 PM

    iluvbears says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:34 AM
    Why is Ditka such a bitter old fart? He’s had a relatively successful life. Why can’t he live and let live? His act is starting to wear thin.

    ——————————————

    He drafted Ricky Williams

  228. keywestjim says: Sep 23, 2016 1:57 PM

    Thank you Mr. Ditka. I believe the NFL can suppress his 1st amendment rights otherwise players could wear whatever they wanted when playing. The NFL has chosen to be a supporter of individuals that disrespect the flag and by doing so believes that the flag should not be respected otherwise the NFL would make this stop. 1st amendment rights are between an individual and the government. Once you are in your workplace your employer can make rules that can suppress many of your 1st amendment rights. Ask Mr. Florio if this is true. The CBA is the agreement that all players must follow. Disobeying a rule in the CBA can result in fines, suspensions, termination, and even lifetime banishment. A smart lawyer could find something in the CBA to squash this embarrassment. I have no problem with the players speaking out against anything they want as long as they are not doing it while working with their employer.

  229. possumsauce says: Sep 23, 2016 2:00 PM

    I could live 10,000 years and still never begin to understand why so many Americans struggle soooo much with the simple fact that criticism of speech =/= actual restriction on speech. If a state actor (i.e. the FBI, US Marshals Service, local sheriff, etc.) actually arrested Person X for a given pronouncement, and/or a US Attorney or state prosecutor brought charges against him, then his rights would be violated (assuming of course a given exception didn’t apply, e.g. “fighting words”, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, etc.). Other private citizens calling Person X stupid doesn’t qualify, nor does Company Y’s decision to invoke a termination clause in a services contract. Unless someone is actually being threatened with the loss of liberty or property by the government, no one’s Constitutional rights have been in any way abridged. Freedom of Speech does not come pre-packaged with Freedom from Being Deemed a Moron. This isn’t difficult.

  230. pksoze says: Sep 23, 2016 2:01 PM

    Old rich white guy says he doesn’t see the atrocities others are experiencing…stop the presses.

  231. toykofilthblasterlovespftpoet says: Sep 23, 2016 2:06 PM

    But it’s okay for Kap to swindle, ah, I mean receive his millions/salary from “the man”

  232. buffalostarwarsfan says: Sep 23, 2016 2:07 PM

    IMO what people tend to forget is despite the many issues we have in America, this is still the greatest country on earth.

    ——-

    For some people it is, for others it is not. If you can’t trust positions of authority to NOT SHOOT AND KILL YOU, maybe its not the greatest country in the world.

    Even if it is (which is subjective and ridiculous to assume that it is), that doesn’t mean you can’t want to make it better.

    By the way, how did you determine this to be the greatest country in the world? What was your criteria? People are unhealthy here, there’s more violence here than in most other Western countries, the education systems lags behind other countries, there’s extreme economic inequality with a tiny portion of people holding the majority of wealth, other countries have the same civil rights we have here. “Greatest country on Earth” is such a meaningless platitude.

  233. toykofilthblasterlovespftpoet says: Sep 23, 2016 2:10 PM

    sire703 says:
    Sep 23, 2016 1:52 PM

    The baby boomer generation is labeled as the ” the greatest generation”.

    I think it’s time we re-think that.

    —————————————-

    Isn’t the “greatest generation” the WWII era?

  234. buffalostarwarsfan says: Sep 23, 2016 2:10 PM

    Thank you Mr. Ditka. I believe the NFL can suppress his 1st amendment rights otherwise players could wear whatever they wanted when playing. The NFL has chosen to be a supporter of individuals that disrespect the flag and by doing so believes that the flag should not be respected otherwise the NFL would make this stop. 1st amendment rights are between an individual and the government. Once you are in your workplace your employer can make rules that can suppress many of your 1st amendment rights. Ask Mr. Florio if this is true. The CBA is the agreement that all players must follow. Disobeying a rule in the CBA can result in fines, suspensions, termination, and even lifetime banishment. A smart lawyer could find something in the CBA to squash this embarrassment. I have no problem with the players speaking out against anything they want as long as they are not doing it while working with their employer.

    —–

    Ridiculous argument. Nobody enjoys “freedom of speech” with their employer, but their employer also doesn’t have to punish it. So you think the employer, the NFL in this case, should force someone to stand? They’d be within their rights I guess, it would just be ridiculous.

  235. mding729 says: Sep 23, 2016 2:13 PM

    Thank you Mike Ditka!!! Couldn’t agree more!!

  236. buffalostarwarsfan says: Sep 23, 2016 2:14 PM

    Kap does not get the core problem or even address it. If you do not want to get shot by police then do not commit crimes, do not point guns at cops, do not resist arrest and do not flee when a cop asks you to stop. Sure, a few cops (black and white cops) have gone rogue (against black and white suspects) but the majority of police shootings are done to protect themselves or the public in the act of a crime.

    I have been stopped and questioned by police about crimes that I did not commit. I stopped, showed my ID when asked, did not pull out a gun or even have one, answered the questions politely, and was sent on my way. Pretty easy directions to follow to avoid the possibility of being shot if you ask me.

    —–

    Half the country thinks they should be able to carry any gun they want without any sort of background check thank you very much, but then say if you don’t want to get shot by cops, don’t carry a gun (lets disregard all the UNARMED black men killed by cops for a second, I guess).

    I’d love to see a white guy who is legally carrying a gun get killed by the cops “because he had a gun” and see if the reaction would be the same.

  237. curmudgeon13 says: Sep 23, 2016 2:15 PM

    Finally. The voice of reason…..

  238. playedthegame32 says: Sep 23, 2016 2:16 PM

    So Trump can say “America isn’t great” and is in the presidential race..But Colin can say “America isn’t great” and gets ridiculed? SMH…Some of your comments are not only hypocritical but your word usage and spelling shows your intelligence, or lack thereof..

  239. twoteamsforlosangeles says: Sep 23, 2016 2:20 PM

    Hard to respect a coach who traded away a whole draft for one player and makes obscene gestures to fans after a loss. Oh, and he works for BSPN, too, so that’s three strikes.

  240. yizudien says: Sep 23, 2016 2:25 PM

    Sad thing about Kap that often gets overlooked: He contributed 0 to the cause prior to sitting on the bench.

    Remember in the pre-season all the stories were focused on if he will or will not be cut. He didn’t get traded like he would prefer and he wore his welcome out in San Fran. Now they can’t cut him even if they wanted to. To make things right he started donating to different causes..

    In my opinion Mike D sees this for what it is: A guy who is holding onto anything that will keep him in the NFL.

  241. mudmandenny says: Sep 23, 2016 2:28 PM

    sire 703 `s belief that the babyboomers are considered the greatest generation shows a woeful lack of awareness on his part. A maximum of 5 minutes research would reveal to him that the generation that fought WWII is widely known as the greatest generation.

  242. v2787 says: Sep 23, 2016 2:28 PM

    Colin Kapaernick loves the U.S. enough to try to do something that will make it even better: draw attention to a very real issue of life and death for many of our citizens. It’s a pity that Ditka and his ilk apparently can’t comprehend the complexity and validity of a notion like that.

  243. zatoichi7 says: Sep 23, 2016 2:28 PM

    mike ditka is an idiot.

  244. nhpats says: Sep 23, 2016 2:39 PM

    wolfgangvomframps says:
    Sep 23, 2016 11:44 AM
    nhpats,

    Do you spend a lot of time asking the people at The Kidney Foundation why they are not doing more to fight heart disease?

    Kaep is focused on this because it is important. If you want to focus on another issue — say, the terrible record of meth abuse by rural white people – do something. But either way, stop whining because you don’t like the cause he chose.

    —————-

    Kaep is focused on this because Kaep knows his career is over and he is doing everything he can to not fade into irrelevance….

  245. jbdvks says: Sep 23, 2016 2:45 PM

    Ditka SUCKS!

    I bet if it were your toe being stomped on you would see the atrocities.

    You don’t like a country with freedom for all? The Middle East will gladly take you on into suppression geezer. If you want to get our attention move the hell out there and get back to me.

  246. bigmark67 says: Sep 23, 2016 2:48 PM

    Reading these comments, I see a lot of Ditka is a racist blah, blah, blah. The race card is used so much now days that it has no shock value or meaning anymore. Matter of fact it has been used so much that many people tune out as soon as it is part of a news story or mentioned. If you call me a racist for disagreeing with your opinion, you have proved one thing to me, you have no valid argument and have lost the debate. Just because someone has a differing opinion and may not agree with, it does not mean racism. Kaepernick has accomplished one thing for sure, he has drawn much more attention to himself than a “has been” or better yet “neverwas” back up QB deserves. He is the Chris Kluwe of NFL QBS.

  247. fanaticks says: Sep 23, 2016 2:54 PM

    Ditka did not say anything about race issues. He is simply stating what everyone else has but just not as eloquently. He is saying, without so many words, he doesn’t like people that disrespect our country and/or flag. This is nothing against the reason for the protest, it is about the country though. Which is in line with everyone else that has said, they agree with his right to protest but disagree with his method.

    And let’s be clear, racism is racism no matter what color you are.

  248. djvh2 says: Sep 23, 2016 3:22 PM

    “I’d love to see a white guy who is legally carrying a gun get killed by the cops “because he had a gun” and see if the reaction would be the same.”

    To be honest, it wouldn’t make the news.

  249. ringheadcrusher says: Sep 23, 2016 3:26 PM

    Problem is by doing what he’s doing, Kaep is protesting this entire nation and everything it stands for, not just his fabricated “cause.” (see my above post for actual facts).

    Mike is fine with Kaep expressing his opinion. It’s the opinion itself he finds offensive in the extreme, and the disrespect to this nation that gave both Ditka AND Kaep the opportunity to make millions upon millions of dollars and live the American Dream on steroids.

    Nothing to do with the first amdt. Just opinions on both sides, expressed in the way each person thought best.

  250. timtomandkevin says: Sep 23, 2016 3:26 PM

    He said the exact same words about people who didn’t support the Iraq war AFTER the invasion.

    So Ditka would like to announce his support for Kaepernick for President in 2024!

  251. singisking says: Sep 23, 2016 3:54 PM

    Ditka needs to die soon

  252. entropysdomain says: Sep 23, 2016 4:24 PM

    So it follows that Ditka should get out of the country since he complains about who is currently President every chance he gets. Kaep is exposing these people for what they really are and it aint pretty.

  253. varangia says: Sep 23, 2016 6:45 PM

    mmack66 says:
    Sep 23, 2016 12:42 PM
    —————————-

    Okay smart guy, go to work and start yelling that you hate white people and curse at everyone. See how long your constitutionally protected speech protects you. No one has freedom of speech at work. It’s up to your employer. However we do have that freedom in the public square.

    The customers (fans) are being forced to subsidize Kap’s political views and that’s outrageous. He needs to head out to the sidewalk to do his protesting.

  254. larryboodry says: Sep 23, 2016 7:09 PM

    Let’s say I own a house and you live in it. And let’s further say you don’t like how I treat some of my other tenants.

    You could say, “Listen, this is a great house and I love living here, and no disrespect to you but the way you treat certain folks is just wrong. Let’s sit down and talk about how to make the house great for everyone.”

    Or you could say, “Because of how you treat those other folks, I refuse to respect this house or what it stands for.”

    That second option is pretty much Kaepernick’s attitude about America, which goes beyond him simply choosing not to stand for the anthem – which in itself I have no problem with as a form of protest.

    But what he said, about flat-out REFUSING to respect this country or its flag, makes me side with Ditka on this one.

    It goes back to my hypothetical scenario about the house…Someone who feels that strongly against where they live SHOULD live somewhere else.

    Would I ask them to leave? No.

    But you’d think they’d want to.

  255. jusanewuhcount says: Sep 23, 2016 9:27 PM

    Hold up! Mike Ditka??? Really? are we talking about the same Mike Ditka that was handed a Super Bowl ring by the Buddy Ryan defense? The same Mike Ditka that was fired by the Bears because he could not produce after Buddy left? The same Mike Ditka that was fired by the Saints because he could not produce? That Mike Ditka? The same Mike Ditka that was fired by ESPN because he wasn’t producing? that Mike Ditka?I know we are not talking about that Mike Ditka. Wow! SMH

  256. deepwater805 says: Sep 23, 2016 11:38 PM

    Coach Ditka just rose several points in my estimation. Good for him!

  257. jetfanfolife says: Sep 24, 2016 6:13 AM

    …me, I am still wondering why these NFL players, who are making millions a year, are kneeling during the National Anthem???

    …Glad to know they’re practicing their 1st amendment, but for what? Where is this oppression I keep hearing about?
    Why are black people killing more black people during these times, than cops ever have, yet they take their frustrations out on cops and not try to do anything to keep their own communities clean or fight against black on black crime. And the way the protest, isn’t peaceful…let’s just make that clear!

  258. ratsfoiledagain says: Sep 24, 2016 10:55 AM

    gmen5280 says:
    Sep 23, 2016 12:01 PM

    Kaep signed a $114,000,000 contract of which $61 Million is guaranteed. And is only going to donate just $1 Million to this cause. Tisk Tisk Tisk
    Kaep, Go back to living in your $3 million mansion.
    Why don’t you at least give half of your guaranteed $61 Mill to help fight this social inequality?
    And do it on your own time, not on Sundays company time.
    *****
    Do you give half of your annual income to charity?

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