The one thing we know for sure after hearing Mike Ditka’s take on the Colin Kaepernick kerfuffle is that he is no fan of the 49ers backup Quarterback. Ditka is a Hall of Fame Tight End, Super Bowl-winning Head Coach and a still-popular personality with a flair for making waves in the media. He recently appeared in 105.3 the Fan in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to talk football, when the show’s hosts asked Ditka what he thought about Colin Kaepernick’s decision to remain seated during the National Anthem.
“I think it’s a problem. Anybody who disrespects this country and the flag. 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. My choice is that 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…
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, 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. ”
No doubt many Americans wholeheartedly agree with Ditka on this, but we should temper our anger for the disrespecting of our flag by remembering what free speech is all about. As conservatives, we defend the right for citizens to speak freely, even if we don’t like the things that we hear people saying. After all, we aren’t fascist liberals silencing our opposition simply because we don’t like the things they are saying.
Free speech isn’t about defending the things we like to hear; it’s about defending the things that people find offensive. So, as much as I agree with the heart of what Ditka is saying – it makes me angry to see people malign and attack the one nation that has done more good for our planet than any other in the history of humanity – I disagree when he uses the line “get the hell out.” In America, we thrive on free speech, so instead let’s focus more on winning the debate and less on Kaepernick’s rude behavior.
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