Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans got hit with a barrage of criticism when he chose to kneel during the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears in protest of last week’s election results.
One of Evans’s many critics was ESPN’s Sage Steele, who grew up in a military household. Just two days after Veterans Day, Steele clearly took Evans’s gesture to heart.
“Hey @MikeEvans13_ look up definition of the word DEMOCRACY & remember this pic while kneeling/exercising your right to protest #perspective,” Steele tweeted Sunday night. Her tweet accompanied a picture of a man kneeling at the grave of a fallen veteran.
Evans has since done a 180, stating that he will no longer kneel during the anthem. In response to voicing her opinion, Steele received criticism of her own, mainly from Miko Grimes, the outspoken wife of Evans’s teammate Brent Grimes.
Miko Grimes, who is no stranger to controversy for her rants and behavior, didn’t hold back when tweeting about Steele and defending Evans’s actions.
“This stupid b—- thinks national anthem sitting equals hatred for military! U ignorant little b—-! F— sage and @kateupton @sagesteele,” Grimes tweeted Monday.
“Black b—–s get white privilege then forget SOLDIERS FOUGHT FOR EVERYONE’S RIGHTS, NOT JUST THE RIGHTS YOU CARE ABOUT! @sagesteele,” Grimes continued.
Grimes also took a personal shot at Steele, who is married to a white man.
Steele responded to her critics Thursday by publishing a 777-word Facebook post, detailing her life as a “proud bi-racial woman.”
A key theme of Steele’s post was respect.
“Believe it or not, we can disagree and still be civil,” Steele wrote. “Respectful. Kind. Accepting of our differences. Isn’t that what DIVERSITY is all about? EMBRACE DIVERSITY… but mean it. All the time, not just when it’s convenient for you. I pray that we can all begin to have more open-minded, non-judgmental, healthy conversations to ensure that diversity applies to ALL Americans, all of the time.”