Mike Ditka: ‘I Have No Respect for Colin Kaepernick’

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 15: Former head coach Mike Ditka of the Chicago Bears watches from the sidelines during the first quarter at Soldier Field on December 15, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
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Mike Ditka says Colin Kaepernick should leave the United States if he dislikes it so much.

“I think it’s a problem — anybody who disrespects this country and the flag,” the Super Bowl-winning coach and player told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “If they don’t like the country and they don’t like our flag, get the hell out.”

The San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback plans to continue to stay down for the national anthem this weekend in Seattle. In addition to sitting and kneeling for “The Star Spangled Banner,” Kaepernick generated controversy by wearing a Fidlel Castro t-shirt and socks depicting police officers as pigs. His stance earned him a place on Time magazine’s cover this week and an ignominious spot as the most disliked player in the NFL, according to a poll of Americans.

“I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick — he probably has no respect for me, that’s his choice,” Ditka told the Shan and RJ Show. “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.”

Ditka, a Republican who flirted with the idea of running for the Senate against a little-known Barack Obama in 2004, lost his job on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown in the immediate aftermath of offering critical remarks about the president, whom he termed the worst in history.

“This is the land the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work,” the 76-year-old said. “If you don’t work, that’s a different problem.”

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