EXCLUSIVE! Football HOF’er Dent To Chicago Bear Teammate: Respect President Obama

By Roland S. Martin

Former Chicago Bear and Hall of Famer Richard Dent is firing back at his fellow Bear teammate and Hall of Famer, Dan Hampton, for his disparaging remarks about President Barack Obama, and the White House’s invitation to celebrate the team’s 25th anniversary of winning the Super Bowl.

Hampton told a Chicago radio station earlier this week that he was not “a fan of the guy (Obama)”; didn’t like the fact that the wives and children of the Bears players and coaches couldn’t attend the event; and that everyone should just forget trying to recognize the Bears, who missed out on an official White House visit in 1986 due to the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion.

But Dent, a Tennessee State University graduate who spent 14 years in the NFL and was MVP of Super Bowl XX, said he’s not surprised to hear such comments from Hampton.

“You don’t have to like (Obama) but you have to respect (Obama),” Dent told RolandMartinReports.com, when reached in London. “Many other presidents between then and now didn’t acknowledge our Super Bowl win.”

Dent said he’s “disappointed” that Hampton has chosen to make the issue about him “and not about the team.”

“As a team, a lot of us didn’t like each other, but we accepted making this a common goal,” Dent said. “Everybody’s not going to like the president. One, you don’t know him…You may not like the things that are being done, but you are being protected in this country. You are living. You are thriving. He is protecting you.”

Dent, who owns an energy company in Chicago, did wade into the political arena, saying President Obama is doing the best job he can in a tough situation.

“He came in and we were all flooding. He threw us a life raft, and we need to swim to shore,” Dent said. “It’s hard to get something done in one term. But when you look at the last president who put you into an 8-year tailspin, what else could you ask for?

“We’re not going to clean this up in four years. We will be in a better position in 8 to 12 years. Right now we need to swim to shore. We’ve got a raft, we are floating and we need to get to land.”

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