UPDATE (12:35 p.m.) - The 23-member Michigan Legislative Black Caucus is calling for the resignation of the Michigan State Police director for sharing a post on her Facebook page that called NFL players protesting during the national anthem "degenerates."
The group of lawmakers said Wednesday if Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue doesn't resign, then Gov. Rick Snyder should fire her.
Democratic Sen. Vincent Gregory, a former law enforcement officer, says police must be held to a "higher standard" and Etue has a "bias" against some citizens.
Etue has apologized, and Snyder's spokeswoman says he will not ask her to resign.
Some Republican senators are defending Etue and say NFL players who take a knee during the anthem are disrespecting military veterans.
LANSING, MI (WLNS) - The director of the Michigan State Police weighs in on the controversy surrounding the NFL by using her social media page to criticize football players for taking a knee during the national anthem.
The debate over whether a person should kneel or stand during the national anthem intensified over the weekend and on Sunday, NFL players from coast to coast took a knee, stood with locked arms and some didn't even take the field until it was over.
Owners of teams were standing behind their decision to do so, many released statements on the issue.
On Sunday, Michigan State Police Director Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue spoke out by sharing a message through her personal Facebook page.
To be clear, since it's her personal Facebook page, the message could only be seen by people who are friends with her on the social media platform.
It reads as follows:
"Dear NFL: 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 out 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 issued the following statement in response to news reports about the post:
"It was a mistake to repost this meme 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."
Progress Michigan is now calling on Col. Etue to step down. In a statement Tuesday night, Lonnie Scott, the organization's executive director said the following:
"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," Scott said. "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."
Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford released the following statement on the controversy over the weekend:
"Our game has long provided a powerful platform for dialogue and positive change in many communities throughout our nation. Thanks primarily to our players, the NFL also has been a unifying force in our country and impactful change has and hopefully will continue to be the result of peaceful expression, done so in order to highlight social injustices of all kind. Negative and disrespectful comments suggesting otherwise are contrary to the founding principles of our country, and we do not support those comments or opinions."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement Saturday morning saying:
"The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we've experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities."
On Friday, President Donald Trump said players who protest the anthem should be fired. Using his Twitter page, he continued to tweet about the protests happening throughout the weekend.
He continued on Monday, tweeting: "The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!"
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