TIME Supreme Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says Colin Kaepernick’s Protest Is ‘Dumb’

An Historic Evening with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Michael Kovac—Getty Images Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presents onstage at An Historic Evening with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center on September 21, 2016 in New York City. Michael Kovac—Getty Images

“I think it’s dumb and disrespectful"

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg thinks it is “dumb” of Colin Kaepernick and other professional football players to protest the national anthem, though she says they have the right to do so.

In an interview with Katie Couric, Ginsburg blasted the players’ protest, which aims to call attention to the mistreatment of African Americans by police. Ginsburg did not address the players’ intentions, but she wrote off the protest itself as a foolish act.

“Would I arrest them for doing it? No,” she said. “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.”

Ginsburg said there is no law that keeps a citizen from doing something “stupid” or “arrogant,” but noted that she takes issue with the “point of view that they are expressing” when they take a knee.

Ginsburg is not the first high-profile voice to weigh in on the subject. During a town hall with military service members in September, President Obama said he respected the players’ decision, but urged them to consider the “pain” their actions may cause.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team