Handful of protesters take aim at Mike Ditka in Oakbrook Terrace
A handful of Black Lives Matter supporters gathered Friday outside Ditka's restaurant in Oakbrook Terrace to protest Mike Ditka's comments about kneeling during the national anthem.
Rabbi Michael Ben Yosef with the Chicago Activist Coalition for Justice says he's outraged by the "despicable and disgusting" statements the former Chicago Bears coach made during a recent interview with TMZ Sports.
In the interview posted July 26 on TMZ's website, Ditka criticized athletes kneeling during the national anthem.
"If you can't respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country," the Hall of Famer said. "That's the way I feel. Of course, I'm old fashioned, so I'm only going to say what I feel."
Ben Yosef said Ditka doesn't understand why athletes are kneeing.
"It's not about the flag," Ben Yosef said. "It's about police brutality."
Despite the small size of the protest near the intersection of Route 83 and 22nd Street, Ben Yosef said he's planning to have a larger gathering.
He said the group decided to protest in front of the upscale restaurant because of its location.
"This is a busy street," Ben Yosef said. "We want people to know that we're not OK with his (Ditka's) racist statement."
Ditka is the chairman of the X League, which is a women's tackle football league that's expected to debut in 2021.
During his tenure as head coach of the Bears, the franchise won its only Super Bowl. But Ditka was fired after the 1992 season.