Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg thinks that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been at the center of a national controversy over patriotism and police brutality in recent months after refusing to stand up during the national anthem, is acting dumb.
Ginsburg said that his actions shouldn’t be illegal but that she thinks they’re disrespectful.
“Would I arrest them for doing it? No,” Ginsburg told Yahoo’s Katie Couric in an interview published Monday. “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. ”
Kaepernick first decided to sit during the national anthem during preseason games to protest violence and oppression against black Americans and people of color in the United States. The protest drew cheers of support from civil rights advocates and those in the Black Lives Matter movement and condemnation from plenty of fans who say that Kaepernick was politicizing an American pastime. Since that first protest, he has continued to sit or kneel during the pre-game events and has been joined by some teammates.
Ginsburg isn’t the only American government official or politician to weigh in on the protest or criticize the NFL player.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (whom Kaepernick has called “openly racist”) made his thoughts clear in August when he suggested that Kaepernick “should find a country that works better for him.”
Things are a little bit different on the Democratic ticket. While Kaepernick has suggested that Hillary Clinton would be in jail if she were anybody else for her use of a private email server while secretary of State, the Clinton campaign has defended the quarterback.
“You know, you’ve got to respect people’s ability to act according to their conscience,” Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s vice presidential running mate, said in September during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
Another notable politician to weigh in was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who tweeted advice to all American athletes. “To all the athletes who have made millions in America’s freedom: stop insulting our flag, our nation, our heroes,” he wrote.
Kaepernick has received a lot of support as well in politics and beyond the NFL in the sports world. Kevin Durant, who plays for the Golden State Warriors NBA team said last month expressed support for Kaepernick being vocal about what he believes in.