Ruth Bader Ginsburg backtracks on Colin Kaepernick criticism, says it was inappropriate

Shutdown Corner

It seemed a little odd that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg so strongly criticized the national-anthem protest of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Ginsburg told Yahoo’s Katie Couric earlier this week she thought the protests were “dumb and disrespectful.”

With some time to think about it, Ginsburg wasn’t happy with her answer to Yahoo’s Katie Couric either.

“Some of you have inquired about a book interview in which I was asked how I felt about Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who refused to stand for the national anthem,” Ginsburg said in a statement, via Todd Ruger of CQ Roll Call. “Barely aware of the incident or its purpose, my comments were inappropriately dismissive and harsh. I should have declined to respond.”

Scroll to continue with content

Harsh is accurate. Ginsburg also said, “If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive.” Here is the interview with Couric:

Kaepernick, who started taking a knee during the national anthem to bring attention to social injustice, and then saw other NFL players join the movement, responded to Ginsburg’s criticism. He seemed to be confused by it too.

Give Ginsburg credit for not digging in on what, in retrospect, she felt was an incorrect answer. Many do agree with what Ginsburg said about Kaepernick, but Ginsburg wanted to set the record straight.

Colin Kaepernick (7) and Eric Reid (35) kneel during the national anthem (AP)
Colin Kaepernick (7) and Eric Reid (35) kneel during the national anthem (AP)

– – – – – – –

Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

What to Read Next