Mike Ditka on Redskins Name Debate: ‘It’s So Much Horse---- It’s Incredible’

Michael W. Chapman
By Michael W. Chapman | August 21, 2014 | 12:25 PM EDT

ESPN NFL commentator and former Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka. (Facebook)

NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, former Super Bowl-winning coach of the Chicago Bears and a current NFL commentator for ESPN, said the debate over changing the name of the Washington Redskins was “silly” and “asinine,” driven by “the political correct idiots of America,” and constituted “so much horse----  it’s incredible.”

“This is so stupid, it’s appalling,” said Coach Ditka in a recent interview with Washington Redskins historian Mike Richman. “And I hope that owner [Dan Snyder] 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.”

In the interview, Richman asked, “What’s all the stink over the Redskin name?”

Ditka, who lead the Bears to 6 first place finishes in the NFC Central and the Super Bowl XX win in 1985, said, “It’s so much horse---- 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.”

“It’s been the name of the team since the beginning of football,” said Ditka.  “It has nothing to do with something that happened lately, or something that somebody dreamed up. This was the name, period. I mean, leave it alone. I mean, these people are silly — asinine, actually, in my opinion.”

Washington Redskins players. (AP)

Mike Richman then said that a lot of the people driving the controversy are not Redskins fans and are not from the D.C. area. “I’m from the D.C. area and the Redskins are part of me, they’re part of me emotionally,” he said.  “I grew up with the team, and I only knew the Redskins as a football team. Nobody’s ever considered it a racist name who’s rooted for the team. That’s where the discrepancy is.”

Ditka responded, “It’s all the political correct idiots in America, that’s all it is. 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. You know, everybody lined up, did this.”

“It’s fine to protest,” he said.  “That’s your right, if you don’t like war, 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.”

A Washington Redskins football helmet lies on the field during NFL football minicamp, June 18, 2014, in Ashburn, Va.  (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

When asked whether he knows Dan Snyder personally and what he thinks of his efforts to uphold the name, Ditka said, “I admire him for it. Really, I think it’s tradition. It’s history. It’s part of the National Football League. It was about Sammy Baugh and all the guys who were Redskins way back then.”

“You know, I didn’t think that Lombardi and Halas never had a problem with it,” said Ditka.  “Why would all these other idiots have a problem with the name? I’m sorry. I’m not very tolerant when it comes to the liberals who complain about everything.”

In addition to his Super Bowl win with the Bears, Mike Ditka coached the Bears for 11 years and the New Orleans Saints for 3 years. Ditka himself was a Round 1 NFL draft pick in 1961, and he started playing for the Chicago Bears that year. His last year on the field as a player was in 1972, when he played for the Dallas Cowboys. As a player, he made 427 receptions during his career and 43 touchdowns.

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman