Mike Ditka says anthem kneeling protests are unpatriotic … and the NFL legend tells TMZ Sports if he had it his way, he wouldn’t allow the demonstrations in his new women’s football league.
The Hall of Famer is slated to be the chairman of the X League — a women’s tackle football org. that was previously known as the Legends Football League — and when we asked him if he’d be OK with protests during the national anthem, he straight-up said no.
“If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country,” Ditka said. “That’s the way I feel. Of course, I’m old fashioned, so I’m only going to say what I feel.”
Colin Kaepernick and others have said the kneeling protests have nothing to do with military or the flag … they’ve continuously claimed the demonstrations are all about raising awareness for social justice and police brutality in America.
Some high-profile people like Drew Brees have changed their stance on the anthem in light of recent events — including the death of George Floyd.
But, Ditka says he’s sticking to his guns — claiming he views kneeling as a slap in the face to the red, white and blue.
“You don’t protest against the flag and you don’t protest against this country who’s given you the opportunities to make a living playing a sport that you never thought would happen,” Ditka says. “So, I don’t want to hear all the crap.”
Ditka says he does NOT have the final say when it comes to the league’s national anthem policy — these are just his personal feelings.
As for the league itself, Ditka believes it has HUGE potential — featuring a bunch of truly talented female athletes “knocking the crap out of each other.”
Ditka’s new league, which will feature 8 teams in major markets like L.A., Chicago and Seattle, is slated to kick off in April 2021.
“These women are pretty and good looking and want to knock the crap out of each other — we’ll see how it works!”