Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, the director of the Michigan State Police, called NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem "millionaire ingrates who hate America" in a Facebook post that has cost her five days worth of pay.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's office issued a statement Thursday, calling the post "inappropriate." However, Snyder did not ask for her resignation.
"I have full faith in Col. Etue’s leadership as the commander of the Michigan State Police, which I believe to be the best law enforcement body in the nation," Snyder said.
"Based on a review of an investigation by the Michigan State Police, department policies, and past disciplinary actions, the Governor has ordered that Col. Etue will have a suspension of pay for 5 days while reporting to work and demonstrating outstanding leadership by example for the men and women she commands," the statement reads.
The penalty was disclosed in the second of two statements released by Snyder, who also announced a strategy to “review the culture of state government.”
Back on Sept. 24, Etue posted a message on Facebook about the ongoing NFL National Anthem debate.
"Dear NFL: We will not support millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our Armed Forces and Veterans," the message read. "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."
Etue's spokeswoman, Shannon Banner, told the Detroit Free Press last month that Etue didn't write the message and it was shared only among her friends.
"As a public servant, Col. Etue has great respect for the armed forces and those who fight to protect our freedoms," Banner said. "It’s a meme that is posted in other places around the Internet."
Michigan State Police issued an apology from Etue on Sept. 26, in which she called sharing the message a "mistake."
Despite the apology and punishment, a liberal group called Color of Change sent a petition to Snyder, asking that Etue be fired. A spokesman for the group told the Detroit News the petition has 4,000 signatures.
The ongoing controversy with the NFL and the National Anthem started last year, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled to protest police brutality and racial injustice.