Kate Upton rips NFL players for kneeling during anthem: 'Unacceptable'

Supermodel upset with Dolphins players for kneeling during opener today, says it's 'unacceptable,' especially on 9/11

Brian Manzullo
Detroit Free Press
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Kate Upton attends Harper's Bazaar's celebration of "ICONS By Carine Roitfeld" presented by Infor, Laura Mercier, and Stella Artois  at The Plaza Hotel on September 9, 2016 in New York City.

Several Miami Dolphins players kneeled during the national anthem before their season opener today.

Kate Upton wasn't having any of it.

The supermodel, a St. Joseph native, took to Twitter this afternoon to blast the players, saying "we should support each other" on Sept. 11, the 15-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in 2001.

"This is unacceptable," she wrote. "You should be proud to be an American. Especially on 9/11 when we should support each other."

She elaborated in a tweet right after that: "Protest&speak ur mind whenever u want but during the 120secs you should support the people who protect our freedom."

She then posted a longer message describing her views on her Instagram account:

Earlier today, Upton reposted an Instagram photo from fiancé Justin Verlander, the Detroit Tigers' right-handed ace, who wrote: "I choose to stand. Remembering all those who lost their lives 15 years ago on 9/11. Also, the countless who've given their lives defending our freedom here at home. #NeverForget#PatriotDay."

This debate - whether athletes should stand or sit in protest during the national anthem - has gotten sticky over the past few weeks since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made waves when he sat during the national anthem before a preseason game.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL media after that game. "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."

RelatedArmour: NFL players protest on 9/11, and that's fine

Since then, several NFL players have expressed protest during the national anthem, including Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall during the NFL kickoff game last Thursday. Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters raised his fist during the anthem today. Dolphins players Arian Foster, Jelani Jenkins, Kenny Stills and Michael Thomas kneeled during the anthem today.

Even high school players took Kaepernick's lead over the weekend.

While many players and coaches - including Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell and wide receiver Anquan Boldin - have expressed support for Kaepernick's protest in recent days and weeks, others, such as Tigers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, have been outspoken on their disagreement.

“He needs to go back to the history books and realize what that flag represents and what a lot of people have sacrificed for it,” Saltalamacchia said. “Has nothing to do with his comments, that’s for sure."

Contact Brian Manzullo: bmanzullo@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrianManzullo.

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