Ditka calls controversial biography of Payton 'despicable'

Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka called a new biography that details the alleged drug addiction and depression of his former running back, Walter Payton, "pathetic" and "despicable."

"The Hero No One Knew," written by Jeff Pearlman, contends that Payton suffered from an addiction to painkillers, contemplated suicide and had extramarital affairs.

"I'd spit on him," Ditka said of Pearlman, according to NBC Chicago. "I have no respect for him."

Ditka added that the book "serves no purpose" and contended that the author likely was motivated by money.

Pearlman defended the biography about the Hall of Fame running back and the details it includes.

"When we present people as a sort of athletic cliché, and this golden guy who had no flaws whatsoever, I think we do people a disservice," Pearlman told NBC Chicago. "I don't think there's anything wrong with knowing that a person was flawed."

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