Mike Ditka: 'I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick'

ByABC News
September 23, 2016, 1:00 PM

— -- Hall of Fame coach Mike Ditka didn't mince words when asked his opinion of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem prior to NFL games.

"I think it's a problem ... anybody who disrespects this country and the flag," Ditka, an ESPN analyst, said during a radio interview Friday with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. "If they don't like the country they don't like our flag ... get the hell out."

"I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick -- he probably has no respect for me, that's his choice," he added. "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."

A number of NFL players have joined Kaepernick in kneeling for the anthem, including his 49ers teammate Eric Reid and Arian Foster, Kenny Stills and Jelani Jenkins of the Miami Dolphins.

Women's soccer player Megan Rapinoe, who is white, has knelt during the national anthem as a show of support for Kaepernick, and the entire Indiana Fever team knelt and locked arms Wednesday night before the teams' first-round game in the WNBA playoffs.

"I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunity -- now if they don't want to look for them -- then you can find problems with anything," Ditka said. "But this is the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work. If you don't work ... that's a different problem. "