Mike Ditka walked back his comment about oppression.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka clarified comments he made on Monday when he said that the country has not seen oppression in the last 100 years.
Ditka's comments on Westwood One were quickly met with criticism when he was asked about how much oppression is seen.
"All of a sudden, it's become a big deal now, about oppression," Ditka said in the radio interview. "There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of. Now maybe I'm not watching it as carefully as other people.
The 77-year-old former coach and tight end also said that if players don't respect the country, they should go somewhere else to play football.
"The characterization of the statement that I made does not reflect the context of the question that I was answering and certainly does not reflect my views throughout my lifetime," Ditka said in a statement. "I have absolutely seen oppression in society in the last 100 years and I am completely intolerant of any discrimination. The interview was about the NFL and the related issues. That's where my head was at. I was quoted in the interview stating, 'You have to be colorblind.' I stated that you should look at a person for what they are and not the color of their skin. I'm sorry if anyone was offended."
Ditka said he would bench any player that would take a knee during the national anthem following comments made by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, when he said that players on his team would not play if they disrespected the flag.