NEW YORK (AP) — Supermodel Kate Upton has condemned the four Miami Dolphins players who knelt during the national anthem, writing on Instagram that their actions are "a disgrace to those people who have served and currently serve our country."
The four players — running back Arian Foster, outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins, free safety Michael Thomas and wide receiver Kenny Stills — were down on their right knee as the song played before the Dolphins' 12-10 loss to the Seahawks in Seattle on Sunday.
In my opinion, the national anthem is a symbolic song about our country. It represents honoring the many brave men and women who sacrifice and have sacrificed their lives each and every single day to protect our freedom. Sitting or kneeling down during the national anthem is a disgrace to those people who have served and currently serve our country. Sitting down during the national anthem on September 11th is even more horrific. Protest all you want and use social media all you want. However, during the nearly two minutes when that song is playing, I believe everyone should put their hands on their heart and be proud of our country for we are all truly blessed. Recent history has shown that it is a place where anyone no matter what race or gender has the potential to become President of the United States. We live in the most special place in the world and should be thankful. After the song is over, I would encourage everyone to please use the podium they have, stand up for their beliefs, and make America a better place. The rebuilding of battery park and the freedom tower demonstrates that amazing things can be done in this country when we work together towards a common goal. It is a shame how quickly we have forgotten this as a society. Today we are more divided then ever before. I could never imagine multiple people sitting down during the national anthem on the September 11th anniversary. The lessons of 911 should teach us that if we come together, the world can be a better and more peaceful place #neverforget.
Their decision to not stand during the national anthem was the latest in a series of protests undertaken by a number of professional athletes in recent weeks, with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick beginning the demonstration prior to a preseason game last month.
Upton, who is engaged to Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, specifically condemned the players' actions as "more horrific" because they occurred on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"I could never imagine multiple people sitting down during the national anthem on the Sept. 11th anniversary," Upton wrote. "The lessons of 9/11 should teach us that if we come together, the world can be a better and more peaceful place."