When Yahoo’s Katie Couric asked Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg about the national-anthem protest by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, it added another layer to the controversy.
Ginsburg isn’t a fan of the protest and didn’t hold back her opinion of it. She called the protests from Kaepernick and other NFL players “dumb and and disrespectful.”
“If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive,” Ginsburg told Couric.
That put Kaepernick in a tough spot. He presumably doesn’t want to get involved in a messy back-and-forth with a member of the Supreme Court (though it didn’t bother Washington Redskins running back John Riggins back in the day), but he obviously isn’t going to agree with Ginsburg.
“It is disappointing to hear a Supreme Court justice call a protest against injustices and oppression ‘stupid, dumb’ in reference to players doing that,” Kaepernick said.
“I was reading an article and it refers to white critique of black protests and how they try to de-legitimize it by calling it ‘idiotic, dumb, stupid,’ things of that nature, so they can sidestep the real issue. As I was reading that I saw more and more truth how this has been approached by people in power and white people in power in particular.”
Kaepernick also told the Mercury News that while he understands the emotion people have over the symbolism of the U.S. flag, “people are getting too caught up in the flag.”
“At the end of the day the flag is just a piece of cloth and I am not going to value a piece of cloth over people’s lives,” Kaepernick said. “That’s just not something I can do, it’s not something I feel morally right doing and my character won’t allow me to do that.”
There have been countless opinions on the protests from just about every possible angle since Kaepernick started kneeling for the anthem in August. He probably didn’t expect to have to answer to a Supreme Court justice on it.
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