ESPN’s Mike Ditka continues not to stick to sports. In an interview Thursday on New York-based WABC’s “Bernie And Sid Show” (the same show where he called President Obama “the worst we’ve ever had” back in March), Ditka went off on a variety of subjects. He called the journalists asking Tom Brady about President Trump “assholes,” reiterated his own support for Trump while saying Obama had “No leadership at all. None,” and labeled Colin Kaepernick “pretty unintelligent.”
Here’s the clip, via Mediaite:
This starts with one of the hosts asking Ditka “What do you think of this crusade on the part of some sports journalists to get Tom Brady to denounce his friend Donald Trump?” Ditka responds “Well, I think these people are — can I say this? — that they’re assholes.” A host responds “Yes, yes you can,” Ditka says, “I just said it,” and the host responds “And we agree.”
Ditka then goes on to talk about choice, Trump, and Obama.
“Now, when you don’t have a choice any more in our country, and people disagree with my choice, fine, I disagree with theirs, fine, that’s what made America great,” he said. “There’s got to be disagreement. 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 Americans. 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.”
One of the hosts then brings up Ditka’s previous comments about Obama being the worst president ever, and Ditka responds with “No leadership at all, none, zero.” The host then lists some of his complaints about Obama and says “There’s a lot to be happy about that Donald Trump’s in office” and says “a lot of Trump supporters are rooting for the Patriots.” Ditka talks about the Patriots being the best team.
After that, they go into a discussion about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Kapernick (who Ditka previously told “If you don’t like America, get the hell out“), with a host saying “You described a lot of these people as assholes, I think Colin Kaepernick is an asshole, to be honest with you. He really turned me off, and he turned off a lot of America. How do you think Goodell handled this season, and do you think the NFL may have taken a real hit?”
Ditka responds by first talking about how athletes’ opinions don’t matter more than anyone else’s, and then by airing his own grievances about Kaepernick:
“He’d be a complete unknown without the game of football, without the sport he’s playing. And not to respect that, you’ve got to be a pretty unintelligent person, I would think. Because I don’t care what your preferences are, you can have anything you want to, but what he has was given to him by the game of football. I think it’s important that some of these young people playing the game start giving something back to the game, and respecting the game the way it should be respected instead of acting like a bunch of fools out there.”
Those are certainly some fiery takes from Ditka. We’ll see if there’s any backlash against him over this; ESPN seems to have left the “no politics” days far behind on both sides, so there may not be, but there will certainly be some journalists (including his own colleagues) not thrilled to have him calling them assholes, to say nothing of people upset by his comments about Obama and Kaepernick.