San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick recently spoke out against Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s claims that his national anthem protests are “dumb and disrespectful.”
Kaepernick, who will assume the role of starting quarterback over Blaine Gabbert for this week’s game, addressed the issue while speaking to reporters in the 49ers locker room.
“It is disappointing to hear a Supreme Court justice call a protest against injustices and oppression ‘stupid, dumb,’ in reference to players doing that,” he said.
“I was reading an article and it refers to white critique of black protests and how they try to delegitimize 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.”
In an interview with Katie Couric on Monday, Ginsburg spoke out against Kaepernick and other athletes who have chosen to kneel during the national anthem as a sign of silent protest.
“Would I arrest them for doing it? No,” Ginsburg 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. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.”
In his comments Tuesday, Kaepernick defended his right and the rights of others to protest the national anthem as a moral obligation.
“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,” he continued. “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.”