Lansing, Michigan – The director of the Michigan State Police apologized Tuesday for sharing a Facebook meme that was critical of athletes who have participated in the NFL’s national anthem protests.
Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue shared a “We the People” meme on Facebook that said athletes that kneel during the national anthem are “millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans” and “a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates,” according to the Detroit Free Press.
That meme states:
We will not support millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our Armed Forces and Veterans. Who wins a football game has ZERO impact on our lives. Who fights for and defends our nation has EVERY impact on our lives. We stand with the Heroes, not a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates.
Signed, We The People
Col. Etue posted her apology on the Michigan State Police’s Facebook page.
“It was a mistake to share this message on Facebook and I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended,” she wrote. “I will continue my focus on unity at the Michigan State Police and in communities across Michigan.”
Col. Etue’s post was criticized by the ACLU for exercising her free speech.
"It is the sworn duty of the State Police Director to uphold the Constitution which protects all people in this State and to demonstrate respect for those principles," said Kary Moss, executive director of the ACLU of Michigan, on her Facebook wall.
"She undermines her own position and the trust of the community with these remarks and utter disregard of the people she represents."
And organization called The Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality called for Col. Etue to be fired, according to the Detroit Free Press.
"Etue's words simply reflect the continued racist actions of the Michigan State Police, both in how they treat our citizens and in how their hiring demographics fail to even approach equity," coalition spokesman Kenneth Reed said in a news release.