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CHICAGO (AP) — Mike Ditka has apologized for saying he wasn’t aware any racial oppression over the last 100 years in the United States.

The famed Chicago Bears coach came under fire for making the comments during a radio interview on Monday about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. He issued an apology the next day, saying he was talking about professional football and not society as a whole.

“I have absolutely seen oppression in society in the last 100 years,” the Hall of Fame tight end and Super Bowl-winning coach said in a statement to WGN-TV in Chicago. “The interview was about the NFL and related issues. That’s where my head was at.”

The interview aired before the Chicago Bears played the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.

The 77-year-old old Ditka has previously made harsh comments about players who take a knee, which has sparked fierce debate about issues such as patriotism and protest. He said he would bench players who didn’t stand during the anthem.

Ditka went further on Monday, saying he didn’t know what “social injustices” players are protesting.

“There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of,” he said.


Ditka’s comments triggered a quick backlash, with many chastising him for seemingly ignoring or not knowing about Jim Crow Laws that enforced racial segregation and the lynching of African Americans that occurred well into Ditka’s lifetime.

“Great coach … clueless person,” tweeted retired NFL player Steve Smith.

Even in Chicago, where Ditka is revered, the reaction was critical and incredulous.

“It’s so ridiculous, it’s hard to have a conversation about it,” Carmen DeFalco, an ESPN radio host in Chicago, told Chicago television station WLS-TV. “I don’t know how you could grow up in this country — especially when he did — and be completely unaware of something as significant as the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.”

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23 thoughts on “Mike Ditka Apologizes For Comment On Racial Oppression

  1. Sharon Eubanks on said:

    You’re apology means NOTHING!!! You said it and you meant it!!! You are a Moran just like 45!!! Once you placed the nail, it hurts… When you remove it, the hole is still there, so is the hurt!!!! We lost all respect for you… well those who had respect that is!!

  2. locayowa on said:

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  3. This stuff is making people reveal who they already was. I told someone when Obama got into office that racism is going to be revealed and just because we have a black president does not mean race issue will be better. I was right.

  4. Everyone has been making the list of oppress even in the last 100 years to show how dumb Mike was for his comments (and those are just the oppression event that happen that got attention, Image all the oppression events and moments that happen unnamed and that did not get documented). Rosewood in Florida is another event that many sometimes leave off.

  5. jcdjo525 on said:

    No one should be surprised of him expressing himself like he did. Because you work with someone and help make them money do not mean that person is not prejudice.

  6. George on said:

    The whole NFL thing is drawing attention from the hurricane destruction, from here to Puerto Rico,the fires in California, the chance of war with North Korea and Iran and the overall dividing of our country…one big reality tv show !!!

  7. Ditka played college FB with black teammates at Pitt in the early ’60’s and I’m sure they played road games against schools in the South when those states were still ruled by a Jim Crow dictatorship.It didn’t occur to him why the black kids had to stay in separate hotels?In his early career with the Bears they also visited Dallas a few times too and he’s apparently telling us he was that much of a dumb jock not noticing the black Bear players also segregated from the rest of the team in hotels or restaurants while on the field seeing all the black Cowboy fans seated in the upper deck of the Cotton Bowl,or otherwise in their “own” sections.As it’s often said ” ignorance is no excuse” but on the other hand THERE’S NO EXCUSE FOR DITKA’S IGNORANCE!

  8. Ditka doesn’t realize that even the football players who made him millions of dollars were being oppressed and still are (being MADE to stand for the national anthem).

    • specialt757 on said:

      #45 has successfully turned this into a “hate your country” protest. He turned the focus completely against the true issue and his dumb ass supporters blindly followed. But the players have alternatives, they can’t protest on the field, they have to do it off the field, I say do it during the press conferences. Start every press conference stating your cause.

  9. specialt757 on said:

    Y’all know how I hate fake ass apologies. Say what you mean and mean what you say. He will never understand, he’s a white male living in America, never experienced one day of racism. At 77 if he doesn’t know [me] by now, he will never, never know. Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes wrote a song about it, wanna hear it, hear it go. Lol.

  10. Why apologize? Don’t apologize for being a 77 year old trump supporting racist ,that’s who you are you got caught up in your hate moment

  11. Passing Through!! on said:

    And why does this trigger backlash, he’s a F**king trump supporting racist always has been. And why apologize for being what you are? He can’t apologize for being a racist no more than I can apologize for being black. He doesn’t know of any oppression in the last 100 years? GTFOH! Of course you don’t, you’re white dumbass! In your bubble of white privilege where there is no racism. Why don’t all of these racist shut the hell up, and stop speaking for black people on black issues about s**t you have no clue about. It’s always some white person trying to write the narrative for black people and tell us what we are or are not. A white supremacist oppressor trying to tell us that racism is a figment of our imagination.

    • EXACTLY – it’s very frustrating!! White people are afraid of becoming the “minority” which is why they are making so much noise about things that are so insignificant. Never want to discuss real issues or see what’s really going on. Donald Trump tap into those fears, play the race card – and the White people fall for it every time

  12. Guest1 on said:

    Apology not accepted. He’s too damn old to be making asinine comments like that.
    White coworker: “I’m tired of hearing all this stuff about the flag and football. It’s getting on my nerves.” “Why can’t everyone just stand?”
    Me: ” I guess it would get on your nerves since you don’t care, nor want to care about how it affects people of color. Go ahead, sweep the dirt under the carpet, so it doesn’t annoy you.”

    • specialt757 on said:

      Typical white person’s response. They don’t understand because it’s not or never will happen to them. No amount of education will help, they choose to be dumb and numb to it.

    • specialt757 on said:

      I’m so glad my white co-workers just keep their talk among themselves and keep their heads buried in the sand, so I won’t have to tell them what I really think of them. God really is looking out for me lol.

  13. Assholes such as Ditka always say what they really feel and then want to offer some lame-ass apology afterwards as if that makes it okay. He meant exactly what he said – – the treatment of people of color is such an everyday thing so much so that it doesn’t take on the form of oppression of discrimination for him. May his brain turn into mush – – at least then he’ll have an excuse.

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