Mike Ditka has zero tolerance for disrespecting the national anthem, especially on this special day of remembrance.
The legendary Chicago Bears coach does not think highly of NFL players who refuse to stand during the national anthem, saying there will “always be malcontents” who are going to be disrespectful.
“People are going to do what they want to do. This is a different generation,” Ditka told TMZ Sports on Sunday. “People have a right to do what they want to do as long as they don’t break the law.”
Ditka pointed out that the protesters are a minority and most people will stand for Old Glory, especially on the 16th anniversary of 9/11. He previously slammed San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others protesting last year, saying: “If they don’t like the country they don’t like our flag…get the hell out.”
As for those who apparently don’t have the same value system, the Super Bowl champion said let them be – they will soon be forgotten anyway.
“Let them be malcontents. Let them do their thing, they’ll move on. No one will think about it. No one will remember who they were,” Ditka said, but admitted that he would prefer the protests end, not just on the 9/11 anniversary.
“I’d like to see it put on hold every day. I mean, there’s a time and place for everything. Before a football game is not the time or place for it. Period,” he said.
And his message to those who refuse to stand at the game Monday, on the anniversary of the deadliest terror attack in American history:
“God bless America.”