Ditka: 'You Don't Like the Country, Get the Hell Out!' -- 'I Have No Respect' for Kaepernick

By Michael W. Chapman | September 28, 2017 | 12:30pm EDT

Mike Ditka. (Screenshot)

Three-time Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Mike Ditka, who also is an analyst for ESPN's NFL Live, said he did not agree with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick -- now a free agent -- kneeling in protest during the national anthem, saying he had "no respect for Kaepernick" and that if you don't like the country, then "get the Hell out!"

During a Sept. 23 interview on Dallas' 105.3 The Fan program, the host asked, “Where do you stand on this whole Colin Kaepernick issue?  Do you have a problem with Colin Kaepernick?”

Ditka, a two-time NFL Coach of the Year, said, "I think it's a problem when anybody who disrespects this country and the flag. If they don't like the country, they don't like our flag, get the Hell out! That’s what I think."

"So, if you’re asking me, I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick," said Ditka.  "He probably has no respect for me. That’s his choice."

"My choice is that 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," said Ditka, who coached the Chicago Bears to their victory in Super Bowl XX. 

Colin Kaepernick, when he was with the San Francisco 49ers, kneels in protest during the nationla anthem. (

"I see opportunities, if people want to look for opportunity," said Ditka.  "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.," he said. "Now, if you don't work, that's a different problem."

Ditka, 77, is married and has four children. 

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