In a statement released on Friday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg walked back her comments that Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem as a form of protest was “dumb and disrespectful.” Justice Ginsburg said her words were “inappropriately dismissive and harsh.”
She also said in the statement that she was “barely aware of the incident or its purpose” and that she should have “declined to respond.”
Earlier this week, Kaepernick responded to the liberal judge’s comments during an interview with San Jose Mercury News, saying:
It is disappointing to hear a Supreme Court justice call a protest against injustices and oppression ‘stupid, dumb’ in reference to players doing that.
I was reading an article, and it refers to white critique of black protests and how they try to de-legitimize 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.
The 83-year-old justice made her surprising comments during an interview with Katie Couric.
During the interview, she compared Kaepernick’s protest to flag burning, saying, “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.”
This isn’t the first time Ginsburg has been forced to walk back her words. In July, Ginsburg said that Donald Trump was a “faker” and that she would move out of the country if he were elected. She later said her comments were “ill advised.”