MSP Chief apologizes for Facebook post calling NFL players who kneel, 'degenerates'

Posted at 8:06 AM, Sep 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-27 10:55:09-04

The director of the Michigan State Police has apologized for sharing a post on her Facebook page that called NFL players protesting during the national anthem "degenerates."

The message shared Sunday by Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue calls the players "millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans." The posting signed "we the people" also calls the protesters "rich, entitled, ungrateful."

The post prompted calls from activists and others for her firing. Progress Michigan Executive Director Lonnie Scott issued a statement which reads, “When such a high-ranking member of law enforcement feels compelled to share such broad, inaccurate, and shameful comments, their judgment can no longer be trusted to help protect Michigan’s diverse communities. Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue needs to step aside,” said Scott. “Let’s set something straight: these protests are not about the flag or about veterans or the military, they are about speaking out against police brutality and injustice in communities of color across America. That is something that law enforcement should take to heart, not use to try to divide us further. Also, it’s important to note that it’s not just professional athletes taking a knee in solidarity — it’s high school kids, college students, cheerleaders, veterans, and people from all walks of life who are willing to bravely speak out against injustice in our society.”

A statement from Etue late Tuesday said it was a mistake to share the post. The statement reads, " It was a mistake to share this message on Facebook and I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended. I will continue my focus on unity at the Michigan State Police, and in communities across Michigan."

The taking of a knee during the national anthem was started last year by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to draw attention to social inequality and police treatment of blacks.