"Don't Act Like A Clown": Mike Ditka Shreds Kneeling Athletes, Says He Would Have Benched Them

During an interview on Saturday evening with Fox News host Jesse Watters, legendary Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka unloaded on kneeling athletes, stating that he would have benched players who refused to stand for the National Anthem.

The comments from Ditka come after he recently told players in a TMZ interview to “get the hell out of the country” if they “can’t respect our national anthem.”


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“Oh, they wouldn’t have played for us,” Ditka said during the interview on Saturday with Watters when asked what he would do if one of his players refused to stand. “It’s that simple.”

“I would bench them,” Ditka continued. “That’s it. Until they found that it was honorable to respect the country. This country has given them an opportunity to become millionaires. You understand what I’m saying? You can’t play American football in Peru. You can’t play in England. American football can only be played in America. And you make a lot of money doing it. Enjoy it, respect it, but don’t act like a clown.”

Watters then chimed in, asking why the kneeling only happens in America when other countries “have done and thought worse things.”

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“I don’t know,” Ditka responded. “I really don’t know. I don’t understand why … I grew up in a community probably that was at least 50% black, 50% white. A steel mill town in Pennsylvania. We didn’t have any problems. I played football my whole life. We had more black football players on our team than we did whites, but there was never a problem. We played football. It wasn’t about the color of a guy’s skin, it about the way he played the game and what his contributions would be to society and to the school. I mean, I don’t get. What’s the big difference?”

Watch here:

While speaking with TMZ last week, Ditka ripped kneeling athletes, telling them to "get the hell out of the country" if they can't respect our National Anthem.

“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. I think there’s a way you protest and there’s a way you don’t protest.

He continued, “You don’t protest against the flag, you don’t against this country [that] has given you the opportunity to make a living playing a sport that you never thought would happen."

“So, I don’t wanna hear all the crap,” he added.

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