Kate Upton took to social media to share her disappointment in NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem on the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Several members of the Miami Dolphins took a knee during their season opener on Sunday afternoon. Afterward, the 24-year-old model decided to speak out against the men’s decision to skip out on the patriotic tradition.
As previously reported, a slew of athletes have chosen not to participate in the “Star-Spangled Banner” after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to take part during an August 26 preseason game in protest of racial injustice.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he told NFL Media on Friday, September 2. “To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Regardless of their reasoning, Upton believes the men’s resolution to take a knee rather than stand and place their hands over their hearts is disrespectful.
“Protest&speak ur mind whenever u want,” she shared, “but during the 120secs you should support the people who protect our freedom.”
The Sports Illustrated swimsuit stunner then elaborated on her opinion in a lengthy Instagram post.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
Upton’s fiancé, Justin Verlander — a baseball player for the Detroit Tigers — expressed similar sentiments via Instagram. “I choose to stand. Remembering all those who lost their lives 15 years ago on 9/11,” he wrote. “Also, the countless who’ve given their lives defending our freedom here at home. #NeverForget#PatriotDay.”
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