Mike Ditka (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
One word: Ditka.
As the Super Bowl showdown between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons draws near, outspoken, no-nonsense NFL legend Mike Ditka had a message for sports reporters demanding that Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady denounce recent actions by his friend, Republican President Donald Trump.
“I think these people are — can I say this? — that they’re assholes,” Ditka proclaimed during interview on WABC-AM’s “Bernie & Sid Show” Thursday.
One writer, USA Today’s Nancy Armour, called Trump’s campaign “steeped in racism, bigotry and misogyny” and said “he has doubled down on his hatred in his first week as president,” noting the president’s immigration ban. Armour added that “in refusing to publicly disavow Trump’s actions, Brady is giving tacit endorsement to both Trump and the chaos he has created.”
“There’s gonna be disagreements,” Ditka continued. “I happen to support Donald Trump, I like Donald Trump, I think he’s the best man, the best-qualified person, I think he’ll do a great job for America. There’s a lot of people out there who don’t think that, but we’ll have to wait and see. Let him do his job first. If he can possibly screw it up nearly half as much as Obama, I’ll be surprised.”
He added that former President Barack Obama had “no leadership at all. None. Zero,” reflecting his assessment of Obama last year as the “worst president we’ve ever had.”
The former head coach of the Chicago Bears also got tough with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who drew major headlines this season for taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of America’s treatment of minorities.
“Kaepernick would be an unknown, complete unknown … nobody would know who he was without the game of football,” Ditka said, adding that not respecting the flag and the anthem shows “you’ve got to be a pretty unintelligent person, I would think.”
And what would happen if Ditka was coaching today and a player took a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner”?
The NFL Hall of Famer, as always, didn’t mince words: “He doesn’t play for me ever again. Period.”
(H/T: BizPac Review)