For some reason, a man who is famous for one Super Bowl Championship and an iconic SNL sketch continually gets asked questions about politics. If you were wondering why NFL front offices view Colin Kaepernick with near-universal disdain while also signing an army of men who abuse women, Mike Ditka is a pretty good example of the culture amongst NFL higher-ups. Per the Chicago Tribune:
“All of a sudden, it’s become a big deal now, about oppression,” Ditka told Jim Gray on Westwood One’s pregame show ahead of the Bears’ “Monday Night Football” loss to the Vikings. “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.”
This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard an athlete or coach say—which includes Mike Cameron’s assertion that the sun has only been around for “500 or 600 years.” No oppression in the last 100 years? What the fuck was the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed for then? Ditka’s sausage-infested brain is so feeble that he probably thinks that Jim Crow is someone who makes barbecue sauce.
If you want to know the genesis of all racial problems in this country, they come from the army of white people like Ditka who spend their time with their heads in the sand, while simultaneously claiming to be historians. This is the power of white privilege: that it can be used to erase the very real and tangible pain that many people feel, all by simply adopting a position of “I don’t see it, therefore it doesn’t exist.” Well I can’t see atoms either, but if you ask the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they’re pretty familiar with their existence. Our news outlets should be ashamed that they continually give a voice to sentient potatoes like Mike Ditka.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.