Model and actress Kate Upton branded stars of National Football League (NFL) a "disgrace" for protesting during the country's national anthem.
A number of players knelt, linked arms or raised their fists during the singing of national anthem in the run up to Sunday's (11Sep16) opening round of NFL games, matches which fell on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The sportsmen were following the lead of San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick who last month (Aug16) knelt while the anthem was performed before a pre-season game in protest at police killings of African-Americans.
However the protests have angered the Tower Heist star, 24, as she believes all Americans should be proud to honor their country.
Posting a link to an article about four players from the Miami Dolphins team kneeling during the anthem, she wrote on Twitter, "This is unacceptable. You should be proud to be an American. Especially on 9/11 when we should support each other."
Expanding upon her point in a post on Instagram she explained, "In my opinion, 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.
"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."
The star, who is engaged to baseball player Justin Verlander, went on to write that she supported people's right to protest but thought doing so during the anthem was wrong.
"Protest all you want and use social media all you want," she added. "However, during the nearly two minutes when that song is playing, I believe everyone should put their hands on their heart and be proud of our country for we are all truly blessed."
Kaepernick and those who followed him in protesting have not been sanctioned by NFL bosses for their actions.
In an interview with news show Today the league's commissioner, Roger Goodell said, "You know, we encourage our players to be respectful. We want them to do this so. But they also have rights. And we have to respect that."