San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusal to stand during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice and oppression of people of color in America has sparked a national discussion.

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg added her opinion and its a rather surprising one. During an interview with Katie Couric on, Ginsburg took a very harsh view toward Kaepernick and others who support the quarterback.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Kaepernick’s national anthem protest is dumb, disrespectful, stupid

Here’s the full text of Couric’s questions and Ginsburg’s answers.

Couric: “How do you feel about San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who have basically refused to stand for the National Anthem?”

Ginsburg: “What do I think? I think it’s really dumb of them. 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. But it’s dangerous to arrest people for conduct that doesn’t jeopardize the health and well-being of other people. It’s a symbol they’re engaged in.”

Couric: “But when it comes to these football players, you may find their actions offensive, but what you’re saying is, it’s within their rights to exercise those actions?”

Ginsburg: “Yes. 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.”

Ginsburg — aka “The Notorious RBG” to her fans — is known as one of the more liberal justices on the court. Regardless of whether you agree with Kaepernick’s stance or not, using terms such as “dumb,” “stupid” and “arrogant” seems a little heavy-handed.

— Geoffrey C. Arnold


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