Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka clarified his remarks on Wednesday after saying there has been "no oppression" in the U.S. over the past century, The Associated Press reported.
Ditka caused a stir when he claimed during a radio interview that 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," he said at the time.
On Wednesday, the NFL Hall of Famer apologized, offering a different take on the matter.
"I have absolutely seen oppression in society in the last 100 years and I am completely intolerant of any discrimination. The interview was about the NFL and the related issues," he said in a statement posted on Chicago's WGN-TV, according to the AP.
Ditka had been met with criticism over his initial comments, including that the playing field was not an appropriate place for protests. He also pointed to the success of several famous African-American athletes in an effort to bolster his argument.
"I think you have to be color blind in this country. You have to look at a person for what he is and what he stands for and how he produces, not by the color of his skin," Ditka said at the time. "I think the opportunity is there for everybody."