(CBS) Former Bears coach Mike Ditka on Friday criticized 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel for the national anthem in a protest against racial injustice in this country.
Ditka’s advice for Kaepernick was to leave the country if he doesn’t respect the flag.
“It’s a problem, anybody who disrespects this country and the flag,” Ditka said on 105.3 The Fan radio in Dallas. “If they don’t like the country, they don’t like our flag, get the hell out. That’s what I think.”
Ditka doesn’t see the same “atrocities” that others see taking place in the nation, he told The Fan.
“I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick,” Ditka said. “He probably has no respect for me, that’s his choice. My choice is, I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.
“I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunity – now if they don’t want to look for them – then you can find problems with anything, but this is the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work. If you don’t work, that’s a different problem.”
Kaepernick graced the cover of TIME Magazine this week following his leading role in standing up against racial injustice and police brutality against blacks.