Kate Upton SLAMS NFL Players For National Anthem Protests

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As you've probably heard, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem before a preseason NFL game last month.

Colin Kaepernick on the Field

Kaepernick's protest struck a chord with other NFL players, as well as athletes from other sports, and during Sunday's season openers, players across the league showed solidarity with Niners QB's cause in various ways.

The actions were intended to call attention to the ongoing problem of police violence against people of color and the urban poor in America, but many are taking the refusal to stand as a sign of disrespect toward the nation and its military veterans.

Now it looks like you can count Kate Upton among those who believe Kap and company need to shut up and stand.

Kate Upton: 2016 Costume Institute Gala

Upton tweeted about her disgust for player protests during yesterday's NFL games, writing:

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

Following backlash from fans - several of whom encouraged Upton to "keep her Becky nose out of it" - the 24-year-old model posted a lengthy Instagram rant in which she defended her initial tweet:

“Sitting or kneeling down during the national anthem is a disgrace to those people who have served and currently serve our country,” Upton wrote.

“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.”

In one of the more controversial portions of her online screed, Upton seemed to suggest that the election of President Obama should be taken as an indication that race is not as much of an issue in this country as it once was:

Kate Upton: Stella McCartney Autumn 2016 Collection Event

"Recent history has shown that [America] is a place where anyone no matter what race or gender has the potential to become President of the United States," she wrote.

Upton added that she understands there are problems that need to be fixed, but feels that while the anthem is playing, Americans should focus on the good and save the discussion of the bad for afterward:

"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."

To underscore her point, Upton posted a photo of her fiance, Justin Verlander, standing for the anthem prior to a Detroit Tigers baseball game.

Justin Verlander National Anthem Photo

Upton went on to describe how recent construction work in Lower Manhattan should serve as a reminder of what can be accomplished when Americans unite and work together:

"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."

The issue of the anthem protests is a complex one that's unlikely to be resolved on anyone's social media page.

It's worth noting, however, that Kaepernick and company intended to spark a national conversation about race, bigotry, and what it means to be American.

And it seems that's exactly what they've done.

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Kate Upton Biography

Kate Upton Poster
Kate Upton is an model and actress known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue,first in 2011, when she was named... More »
Born
Birthplace
St. Joseph, Michigan
Full Name
Kate Upton