Kelly Stafford, wife of Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford, came under fire on Thursday for comparing living in Michigan under COVID restrictions to "living in a dictatorship."
“So I’m going to be very blunt,” Stafford said in a series of Instagram stories. “I’m so over it. I’m over living in a dictatorship that we call Michigan. I understand there’s a pandemic, and I understand it’s very scary. I am scared of it, too. If you are at-risk, do not leave your house until there’s a vaccine. But shutting down all these small businesses, things that people have worked their life for, shutting them down again is not the answer because they will not make it. So once we are able to leave our house, once this dictatorship decides to let us have some freedom, there will be nothing left."
Stafford continued, "I’m just over it. I see all these people, and it brings me, like, to tears. I -- believe me, I know there are people out there who are stating, ‘That is really ignorant of you, how could you say that?’ Listen, I know not everybody is going to agree with me, not everybody is not going to agree with every move I make. That’s life, OK? We state our opinions, we move on. This is my opinion. I feel for these small businesses. I feel for -- it’s not that I don’t feel for people that have COVID or the hospitals. I do. But this is my opinion: I do not like living in a place where they tell me what I can and cannot do. I live once. Again, this is my opinion. You have yours. Everyone has their own, and we chalk it up to that.”
This triggered responses across social media, with many saying that Stafford calling Michigan a "dictatorship" was selfish and irresponsible, especially amidst a global pandemic and rising COVID numbers in the state.
Stafford has since walked back her comments and returned to Instagram to apologize for her previous comments.
"All right y’all, here’s what I do best -- coming back to apologize. After I read some of your things and I get grounded a little bit, I’m really sorry. I was in the heat of the moment. I have a friend losing her business, and it’s just getting to me a little bit," she wrote. "So I apologize for calling it a dictatorship. Probably the not so smart use of words. But yeah, I just want it to work for everybody, and I know it’s not going to work for everybody. It just kills me to see people suffer some financial burden for losing their business. And also from getting sick. But I don’t know, I apologize.”