Matthew Stafford's Wife Kelly Apologizes for Calling Michigan ‘Dictatorship’ Over COVID Restrictions

Kelly Stafford has apologized for her comments regarding Michigan’s new coronavirus restrictions, which were implemented earlier this week amid a surge of cases.

On Thursday, Kelly —the wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford — expressed regret after calling the state a "dictatorship" following the announcement of the emergency order, which called for a “three-week pause” on indoor gatherings.

“Should have never used the word ‘dictatorship,’ ” she wrote on Instagram. “I got caught up in the heat of the moment, that is my fault.”

Writing that she cared about “the people who are losing their lives or battling this” as well as “the medical staff who care for them,” Kelly noted that it’s been hard “knowing these local business owners and watching them struggle and having to lay off their employees, not knowing how they are gonna make it.”

“So I'm sorry. I let my emotions get the best of me. I love Michigan and the people here. Don't get that twisted,” she continued. “This place was my rock during my tough times. and I wish there was an answer that pleased everyone but we know that is definitely not the case."

In a subsequent Instagram Story post, she went on to point out the importance of continuing to wear face masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. “Never said anything about not wearing masks. I may be ignorant to people, but I’m not that dumb,” she wrote. “Wear your masks. Didn’t even think that needed to be said, but I guess it does.”

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While addressing the restrictions earlier on Thursday, Stafford said she was “over living in a dictatorship that we call Michigan," according to CNN.

"I understand there's a pandemic, and I understand it's very scary. I'm 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,” she continued. “So once we are able to leave our house, once this dictatorship decides to let us have some freedom, there will be nothing left."

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued the emergency order on Wednesday, which is specifically “targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities.”

Under the new restrictions, indoor dining is being temporarily shut down, although bars and restaurants will still be allowed to remain open for outdoor dining, delivery, and carry-out orders. Retail shopping will also be permitted.

“Right now, there are thousands of cases a day and hundreds of deaths a week in Michigan, and the number is growing. If we don’t act now, thousands more will die, and our hospitals will continue to be overwhelmed,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “We can get through this together by listening to health experts once again and taking action right now to slow the spread of this deadly virus."

“Indoor gatherings are the greatest source of spread, and sharply limiting them is our focus,” added MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “The order is targeted and temporary, but a terrible loss of life will be forever unless we act."

Gov. Whitmer has also cautioned against large Thanksgiving gatherings.

"We’re preserving future holiday gatherings together by taking this seriously now, by not gathering with people outside of your household this Thanksgiving," she said during a press conference on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Michigan currently ranks sixth in the United States in total coronavirus cases as well as fifth for the number of coronavirus-related deaths, according to NPR. As of Friday morning, there have been a total of 310,396 total cases and over 8,000 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

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