One day after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticized athletes for refusing to stand for the U.S. National Anthem, Colin Kaepernick—who initiated the movement—had a response of his own.
The San Francisco quarterback told reporters on Oct. 11 that he was disappointed in Ginsburg’s comments.
“It is disappointing to hear a Supreme Court justice call a protest against injustices and oppression ‘stupid, dumb’ in reference to players doing that,” said Kaepernick, reported the San Jose Mercury News. Kaepernick began his protest on Aug. 26.
He added, “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.”
In an interview with Yahoo’s Katie Couric on Oct. 10, Ginsburg said the ongoing silent protest by athletes is “dumb and disrespectful.”
“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,” Ginsburg said. “But it’s dangerous to arrest people for conduct that doesn’t jeopardize the health or well-being of other people.”
The newly named starter said critics are missing the point of his stance.
“People are getting too caught up in the flag,” Kaepernick said. “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. 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.”
Kaepernick will start against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.