Former NFL head coach Mike Ditka contributed some highly questionable commentary in a radio interview with television personality Jim Gray Monda afternoon.
The national debate over players kneeling for the national anthem is at a fever pitch, and coach ditka wanted a bite at the apple.
“All of sudden it has become a big deal now about oppression. There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of,” Ditka said. “Now maybe I’m not watching it as carefully as other people. I think that the opportunity is there for everybody race, religion, creed, color, nationality, if you want to work, if you want to try, you want to put effort into yourself, you can accomplish anything.
“We’ve watched that through the history of our country. People rise to the top and became very influential people in our country by doing the right things.”
To be fair to Coach Ditka, the former Chicago Bears tight end has never claimed he was a sensible academic, or a man of vast intellect, in fact his lack of basic intelligence was a running joke throughout his career.
Ditka has also never been perfect, but he has never made statements as offensive or inaccurate as this.
Mike Ditka grew up in the thick of the civil rights movement, he played with African Americans that were not permitted to stay at the same hotel as the team, or enjoy the same diners that the other players could frequent.
What exactly is Ditka’s defintion of oppression?
African Americans were not even permitted to vote before 1964, were not allowed to attend state universities until the 70’s, had to deal with Jim Crow laws in the 50s.
Blacks were raped, shot, sprayed down by fire departments, lynched, and terrorized over the 100 year period that Ditka is referring too, his commentary makes him look awful.
There can be no doubt Ditka lost respect around the NFL on Monday.
Ditka knows darn well what he is saying, and the fact that so many of his players were African American did not prevent him from making these statements.