After posting a picture wearing a Blue Lives Matter T-shirt, The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan has taken to social media to defend his support of the cause.
Blue Lives Matter, a countermovement to the Black Lives Matter cause, was set up in 2014 following the murder on-duty NYPD officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. Morgan was pictured in shirt supporting the case, which features a blue stripe on an otherwise greyed out American Flag. However, Morgan has defended his decision to wear the shirt, saying he not only supports Blue Lives Matter, but also Black Lives Matter.
In a lengthy, since-deleted post on Instagram, the Walking Dead star addressed those who criticized him:
Dear assholes. Blue lives do matter. Can't believe I need to explain to you this fact. All lives matter. All of em. This shirt was made in response to the cold blooded murder of two GOOD cops in NY, both that had immigrated to the US, and took an oath to protect and serve.
After explaining that he believed all lives matter, Morgan also went onto reveal how he'd come to possess the shirt:
This shirt was given to me at a convention by a woman, whose son, was shot during what was a routine traffic stop. He was black.
He later wrote in a separate comment that he felt it was important to tell the story about where they shirt came from after people had allegedly labelled him "a racist" and "a nazi."
Lastly the actor spoke about how draining it was to constantly receive mean remarks from people online:
I'm so tired of mean people. People who wake up in the morning, and I think, just sit behind the safety of their computers...anonymously...and start shit. Grow the fuck up. The world has enough horrible things going on right now without your petty bullshit. Speaking of cops... I'd like to commend those in blue that saved countless lives in vegas. Those first responders saved hundreds... if not thousands. So you trolls...go crawl under the rock in which you came. GOOD PEOPLE MATTER. You? Don't.
But while Morgan may have encountered some nasty comments over the shirt, it appears that most fans were simply deeply disappointed by his support for the cause:
After posting his initial response, Morgan later followed that up with an apology (which has also since been deleted) to those he had offended:
I stand behind the sentiment... but, what was meant as one thing has been taken as another. I understand those that are upset... and to those people I apologize. Of course black lives matter. I stand behind that. Always have. My point.. Calling me a nazi for wearing this shirt, that was given to me by a cops grieving mother at a con? She wasn't trying to undercut BLM. Nor was I when I put it on...that's a promise. This country means the world to me. The good people in it mean the world to me... the ones looking for a fight around every corner? Racists? Bullies? They don't. We are a country divided and it's getting scarier every day. Everyone means something. Good people are needed. Now more than Ever.
In the message he also vowed to take more care in wording his opinions in the future, but reminded fans that everyone was entitled to have an opinion.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Season 8 on Sunday, October 22.