Supermodel Kate Upton has condemned the four Miami Dolphins players who knelt during the national anthem, writing on Instagram that their actions are "a disgrace to those people who have served and currently serve our country."

The four players - running back Arian Foster, outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins, free safety Michael Thomas and wide receiver Kenny Stills - were down on their right knee as the song played before the Dolphins' 12-10 loss to the Seahawks in Seattle on Sunday.

Their decision to not stand during the national anthem was the latest in a series of protests undertaken by a number of professional athletes in recent weeks, with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick beginning the demonstration prior to a preseason game last month.

Upton, who is engaged to Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, specifically condemned the players' actions as "more horrific" because they occurred on the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

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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. Protest all you want and use social media all you want. 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. Recent history has shown that it is a place where anyone no matter what race or gender has the potential to become President of the United States. We live in the most special place in the world and should be thankful. After the song is over, I would encourage everyone to please use the podium they have, stand up for their beliefs, and make America a better place. The rebuilding of battery park and the freedom tower demonstrates that amazing things can be done in this country when we work together towards a common goal. It is a shame how quickly we have forgotten this as a society. Today we are more divided then ever before. I could never imagine multiple people sitting down during the national anthem on the September 11th anniversary. The lessons of 911 should teach us that if we come together, the world can be a better and more peaceful place #neverforget.

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"I could never imagine multiple people sitting down during the national anthem on the Sept. 11th anniversary," Upton wrote.

"The lessons of 9/11 should teach us that if we come together, the world can be a better and more peaceful place."

Upton was then forced to defend her comments on social media.

As reported by The New York Post, baseball has not followed the lead of the rogue NFL players.

Ever since NFL quarterback Kaepernick sat during the national anthem before a pre-season game on August 26, athletes from women's soccer to high school football have paid tribute to Kaepernick and his stand for racial equality by sitting or kneeling in protests of their own.

So why haven't we seen any MLB players follow suit?

"Baseball is a white man's sport," Orioles centre fielder Adam Jones told USA Today.

Jones said the relatively low (and dwindling) number of African-American players in the league - 8 per cent, compared to 68 per cent in the NFL and 74 per cent in the NBA - makes it more challenging and uncomfortable to speak up on racial issues.

"We already have two strikes against us already, so you might as well not kick yourself out of the game," Jones said.

"In football, you can't kick them out. You need those players. In baseball, they don't need us."

Jones recently appeared to suggest the Mets' minor-league deal with ex-NFLer Tim Tebow last week was another instance of prejudice in baseball.

In the revealing interview, Jones lamented how outspokenness is perceived differently depending on race ("It's crazy how when people of colour speak up, we're always ridiculed. But when people that are not of color speak up, it's their right") and said he feels the consequences of sharing his political views as an athlete are exacerbated.

"The outside world doesn't really respect athletes unless they talk about what they want them to talk about," Jones told the newspaper.

"Society doesn't think we deserve the right to have an opinion on social issues. We make a lot of money, so we just have to talk baseball, talk football."

Jones, who says he will continue to support Kaepernick and other athletes who stand up for the rights of minorities, isn't closing the door on a demonstration on the baseball diamond.

"No one has done it, yet," Jones says. "But that's the key word here: yet."