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OC Principal Under Fire After Calling Colin Kaepernick 'An Anti-American Thug'

SEAL BEACH (CBSLA) — An Orange County elementary school principal is under fire Thursday after expressing disgust at Nike's decision to name NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick the face of their 30th anniversary "Just Do It" ad campaign.

Over a photo of a Nike T-shirt cut into pieces, McGaugh Elementary School Principal Roni Burns-Ellis wrote on her personal Facebook page: "My newest rag! When Nike signs an anti-American thug to represent their brand, I will not support, wear, purchase or endorse their product."

That prompted more than 300 people to sign a petition demanding Los Alamitos Unified School leaders "act civilly."

"As our country has become divided and name calling and hate has become normalized, we were particularly disheartened by her comment on Facebook yesterday," the petition said in part.

The Facebook post has since been removed.

"To me, it's basically a racist opinion and to post that publicly was very disappointing," McGaugh parent Michelle Emeterio said. Another parent, Jason Gonzalez, said the use of the word "thug" is a stereotype he personally wouldn't have used.

She's not a bad person at all, Gonzalez said, "but you're just going to have to bite your tongue when you're in that position."

Not everyone saw the post as being problematic. Michelle Brown, who works at McGaugh Elementary, said everyone is entitled to their opinion.

"She didn't go and write it on the McGaugh page, she wrote it on her personal page," Brown said.

Kaepernick, who last played for the San Francisco 49ers, became a national lightning rod when he began taking a knee during the national anthem before games in protest of racial injustice. President Donald Trump has blasted Kaepernick on Twitter, saying it disrespects the American flag and the military.

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016 and is suing the league, claiming owners colluded to keep him out of football.

Nike's decision to feature Kaepernick in the ad campaign prompted many to publicly destroy their Nike shoes and apparel.

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