The former Chicago Bears coach told the newspaper what a "shame" the whole situation was, alluding to the protests that broke out following a grand jury's decision not to indict white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown.
"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," Ditka continued. "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."
Ditka said he didn't know "exactly what happened" in Ferguson, but he defended the officer's actions anyway.
"This policeman's life is ruined," Ditka said. "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."
Ditka has been outspoken about issues that have captured national attention before. In August, he called the criticism over the Washington Redskins' name "horseshit." And last year, he famously lamented that he never ran against Barack Obama in the 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois, saying he was sure he would have defeated the future President.