Former NFL coach and television sports analyst Mike Ditka is taking sides in the ongoing national debate over the shooting death of Missouri teenager Mike Brown at the hands of a former Ferguson police officer.
In an interview with the Chicago Sun Times, Ditka, 75, said he was embarrassed for the St. Louis Rams players who protested a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson by holding their hands up during a game on Sunday.
"I'm embarrassed for the players more than anything," Ditka told the Sun Times on Tuesday.
Ditka also commented on the ongoing civil unrest across America.
"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," Ditka told the Sun Times.
Read Ditka's full statements to the Sun Times below:
"It's a shame this thing has come to this," Ditka told the Chicago Sun-Times for his weekly feature column. "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."