Ditka: 'There has been no oppression in the last 100 years'

(FoxNews.com) - During the Monday Night Football pregame show, legendary NFL player and coach Mike Ditka weighed in on the debate over national anthem protests.

Ditka said he doesn't see all the social injustice issues that players are protesting, and he argued that everybody, regardless of race, religion, creed or color, has opportunity in America.

“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,” Ditka said.

Ditka added that professional athletes have an obligation to "respect the game," and he would bench players who kneel during the anthem if he was still coaching.

“I don’t care who you are or how much money you make. If you don’t respect our country, then you shouldn’t be in this country playing football. Go to another country and play football. If you had to go to somewhere else and try to play this sport, you wouldn’t have a job," he said.

“If you can’t respect the flag and this country, then you don’t respect what this is all about. So I would say: Adios.”

The following is a statement from Mike Ditka:

"I want to clarify statements that I made in an interview with Jim Gray last night. 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. 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 color blind.” 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."

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