Mike Ditka on national anthem kneeling: 'Get the hell out of the country'

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, July 27, 2020
Former NFL player and coach Mike Ditka arrives at the 5th annual NFL Honors at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in San Francisco.
Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision for NFL/AP Images-AP

CHICAGO -- You're not going to be seeing Mike Ditka taking a knee for social justice during the national anthem anytime soon.

The legendary former Chicago Bears coach and player was clear about what he expects during the national anthem in an interview with TMZ Sports.

"If you can't respect our National Anthem, get the hell out of the country. That's the way I feel. Of course, I am old-fashioned, so I am only going to say what I feel. I think that there is a way that you protest and there is way that you don't protest. You don't protest against the flag. You don't protest against this country who has given you the opportunity to make a living playing a sport that you never thought would happen, so I don't want to hear all the crap. If you want to try it, try it. If you don't, it's OK."

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Ditka is the owner and chairman of "X League", the new women's football league.