Mike Ditka: 'I'm embarrassed for (Rams) players more than anything'

Mike Ditka has some thoughts on the Rams and the Ferguson shooting. (Getty Images)
Mike Ditka has some thoughts on the Rams and the Ferguson protests. (Getty Images)

Former Bears coach Mike Ditka has a weekly column in the Chicago Sun-Times, and he used the space to weigh in on the decision of some Rams players to take the field on Sunday with the "hands up, don't shoot" gesture, which was a show of solidarity with Ferguson, Missouri protesters following the August shooting death of teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer.

“It’s a shame this thing has come to this,” Ditka said. “The shame of it is, I’m not sure they care about Michael Brown or anything else. This was a reason to protest and to go out and loot. Is this the way to celebrate the memory of Michael Brown? Is this an excuse to be lawless? Somebody has to tell me that. I don’t understand it. I understand what the Rams’ take on this was. I’m embarrassed for the players more than anything. They want to take a political stand on this? Well, there are a lot of other things that have happened in our society that people have not stood up and disagreed about.

“I wasn’t in Ferguson. I don’t know exactly what happened. But I know one thing: If we dismantle and limit the power of our policemen any more than we have already, then we’re going to have a lot of problems in this country.

“What do you do if someone pulls a gun on you or is robbing a store and you stop them? I don’t want to hear about this hands-up crap. That’s not what happened. I don’t know exactly what did happen, but I know that’s not what happened. This policeman’s life is ruined. Why? Because we have to break somebody down. Because we have to even out the game. I don’t know. I don’t get it. Maybe I’m just old fashioned.”

The St. Louis Police Officers Association has called for the players to be disciplined.

The NFLwhich has no plans to punish the players, released this statement: "We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation."

Asked about the pregame display, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said, the players "made the choice to exercise their free speech," adding that they wouldn't be disciplined by the team. 

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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