(CBS) The legendary Mike Ditka has always been a bold and straightforward man willing to share how he really feels.
And in regards to the hot-button debate about the future of Washington’s “Redskins” nickname that’s increasingly drawn criticism for being racially insensitive, Ditka had no problems explaining his thoughts.
To put it simply, he doesn’t get all the hubbub.
“What’s all the stink over the Redskin name?” Ditka said in an interview with redskinshistorian.com that was transcribed by the Washington Post. “It’s so much (expletive) it’s incredible. We’re going to let the liberals of the world run this world. It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian. Even though it was called a Redskin, what are you going to call them, a Proudskin? This is so stupid it’s appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of an American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins. That’s the way it is.
“Its been the name of the team since the beginning of football. It has nothing to do with something that happened lately, or something that somebody dreamed up. This was the name, period. Leave it alone. These people are silly — asinine, actually, in my opinion.”
Now an ESPN analyst after a Hall of Fame career that included time as a player and coach with the Bears, Ditka wasn’t close to being done.
“It’s all the political correct idiots in America, that’s all it is,” Ditka said. “It’s got nothing to do with anything else. We’re going to change something because we can. Hey listen, I went through it in the 60s, too. I mean, come on. Everybody lined up, did this. It’s fine to protest. That’s your right, if you don’t like it, protest. You have a right to do that, but to change the name, that’s ridiculous. Change the Constitution — we’ve got people trying to do that, too, and they’re doing a pretty good job.”
While Redskins owner Dan Snyder has come under heavy criticism for the name, he’s stood firm in saying he won’t move to change it. Earlier this week, CBS analyst Phil Simms said he doesn’t intend to use the “Redskins” nickname TV broadcasts. CBS executives as well as NFL officials have left it up to individual broadcasters over whether they want to use the term “Redskins” in calling games.