Kate Upton has slammed four Miami Dolphins players for protesting during the national anthem on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The model and actress branded Arian Foster, Michael Thomas, Jelani Jenkins and Kenny Stills' decision to kneel "a disgrace to those people who have served and currently serve our country".
Taking to Instagram, the 24-year-old lambasted the sport stars and claimed that their actions were doing nothing to rebuild the US, which was "more divided than ever before"
"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," she wrote.
"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.
Upton went on to state that American citizens should be thankful for the opportunities they are afforded. "I would encourage everyone to please use the podium they have, stand up for their beliefs, and make America a better place. "
"Today we are more divided than 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 players' silent protest came weeks after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement ahead of a preseason game in a bid to make a stand against the treatment of African-Americans by police. Upton is amongst a long list of celebrities who have taken to social media to offer their support or share their disdain.
Amid the controversy singer John Legend called for the US national anthem to be scrapped. The All Of Me singer said the Star-Spangled Banner is "weak" and should be swapped for America The Beautiful.
The r'n'b star tweeted: "For those defending the current anthem, do you really truly love that song? I don't and I'm very good at singing it. Like, one of the best. My vote is for America the Beautiful. Star Spangled Banner is a weak song anyway."