For possibly the first time, this writer agrees with the elderly Jewess Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg.
NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s continuing protest of the national anthem is “dumb and disrespectful”, the supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in an interview released on Monday.
In a wide-spanning interview with Yahoo News’s Katie Couric on Ginsburg’s new book My Own Words, Ginsburg said she thought that while Kaepernick’s protest was legal, it was “a terrible thing to do”.
“What do I think? I think it’s really dumb of them,” Ginsburg said. “Would I arrest them for doing it? No. I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.”
Ginsburg went to some lengths to say that the protest was legal but that she disagreed with their stance.
“If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive. If they want to be arrogant, there’s no law that prevents them from that. What I would do is strongly take issue with the point of view that they are expressing when they do that.”
In August, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick began sitting or taking a knee during the national anthem in the pre-game buildup. Kaepernick said the act was a silent protest against racial injustice in America, especially against police brutality.
It caught national attention and later inspired a host of other NFL players and sports stars to take a knee during the anthem.
The act has also drawn criticism, with some calling it disrespectful towards military servicemen and women, despite Kaepernick reiterating that it is not targeted at members of the military.
Barack Obama has also weighed in on Kaepernick’s protest. He originally said Kaepernick was exercising his constitutional rights to make a statement. At a CNN town hall a few weeks later, he said he wanted both sides to listen to each other.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Kaepernick “should find a country that works better for him”.
Ginsburg caused controversy earlier this year when she said could not imagine what the country would be with Donald Trump as president. She later said those remarks were ill-advised.