Model Kate Upton took issue with Miami Dolphins players who kneeled during the national anthem at their Sept. 11 game. The swimsuit cover girl detailed her feelings via social media during yesterday’s match.
According to Sports Center, four members of the Dolphins kneeled. Arian Foster, Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas and Jelani Jenkins all met with the team Friday evening to decide how to handle the anthem. Foster initially planned to raise his fist but decided not to.
In response, Upton wrote the following message Sunday evening.
She stated football players can protest whenever they like “but during the 120 seconds [the anthem is playing] you should support the people who protect our freedom.”
The model expounded on her feelings on Instagram, too.
“Sitting or kneeling down during the national anthem is a disgrace to those people who have served and currently serve our country,” she wrote in part. “Sitting down during the national anthem on September 11th is even more horrific… 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.”
Black Twitter disagreed.
Vanessa Veasley pointed out the contradictory message Upton seemed to espouse.
Them: "Never forget 9/11"
Also them: "Please get over what has happened to & continues to affect your people tho" https://t.co/9aCwybisuO
— Vanessa Veasley (@VanessaVeasley) September 11, 2016
@timdogg98 used a GIF of NBA star Kevin Durant smacking a basketball from Upton’s hands to illustrate Black users’ thoughts on Upton.
Black twitter to Kate Upton's mentions right now pic.twitter.com/p0AE8zXzdN
— Tim Adams (@timdogg98) September 11, 2016
Janan Graham-Russell called out the cover girl’s hypocrisy.
BREAKING: person who has never spoken out about racism in the US before criticizes how those who experience it, protest it. Re: Kate Upton
— Janan (@jananamirah) September 11, 2016
L. D. Lewis pointed out that Upton’s Republican congressman uncle Fred voted against the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2010. The measure gave health benefits to Sept. 11 responders. Fred finally supported passing the bill in 2015, according to The Huffington Post.
Kate Upton's uncle Fred (House – R MI) voted against the Zadroga Act for 9/11 Responders' Compensation and Health Care 3 times in 2010.
— L.D. Lewis wants a snow cone 🍧 (@Ellethevillain) September 11, 2016
Flatbushian took aim at Upton’s marketing as a curvy model.
@Jaiylean explained the new generation of Black people don’t need permission to protest.
News One Now host Roland Martin also voiced his opinion. He sent Upton and several sports figures a link to a video of a cop pulling a gun on a Black motorcyclist.
Hey @TDESPN @Hasselbeck @WhitlockJason @KateUpton @DougBaldwinJr THIS is why @Kaepernick7 is protesting. https://t.co/pFlFy7gyiV
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) September 11, 2016
Upton responded by acknowledging the corruption of the justice system but explained Sept. 11 is not the time for protesting.
Martin asked if Upton would rather have protests only occur before or after 9/11.
So in your world, the protests should take place on 9.10 or 9.12, just not 9/11? You are contradicting yourself. https://t.co/lXuyzRzHl2
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) September 12, 2016
To which Upton clarified her statement.
But some users backed the model.
Kennedy Copeland called out anyone who defended NFLers who protest the U.S. anthem but attacked Upton for her stance.
you can't defend people exercising their right to sit during the national anthem while simultaneously attacking Kate Upton for speaking out
— Kennedy (@kpconservative) September 12, 2016
And Jimmy Godson was somewhere in the middle of the fray.
I support The Miami Dolphins right to kneel on 9/11 and I also support Kate Upton's right to point out how disrespectful it is to do it.
— Jimmy Goodson (@JG41187) September 11, 2016