The director of the Michigan State Police has sparked a controversy by wading into the national debate over whether NFL players should stand for the national anthem through a strongly worded message she posted to social media.
A message shared by Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue on her Facebook page Sunday, in an apparent reference to athletes participating in anthem demonstrations, calls them “millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans” and “a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates.”
The protests, starting in 2016 when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he took a knee for the pre-game national anthem to protest oppression against people of color, have grown and gained international attention, especially after a Friday speech by President Donald Trump last week in which he referred to the demonstrators as SOBs who should be fired.
Etue’s posting of the message signed “we the people,” reportedly upset some black troopers in a department that has been under scrutiny for its lack of racial diversity.
The department is also under fire and facing protests in Detroit after 15-year-old Damon Grimes of Detroit died following a state trooper firing a Taser through a police vehicle window at him, in violation of policy, while pursuing the teen, who then crashed his ATV.