In an interview with Yahoo’s Katie Couric on Oct. 10, Ginsburg discussed her displeasure with Kaepernick’s as well as other athletes’ refusal to stand for the U.S. National Anthem.
“I think it’s really dumb of them,” the Supreme Court justice said. “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.”
She continued, “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 or well-being of other people.”
Kaepernick’s ongoing silent protest against the flag and national anthem as a way to combat racial oppression and police brutality in the United States has caused a media frenzy after he began it on Aug. 26.
Since then, his likability has decreased, making him the most disliked athlete in the league. Kaepernick has received backlash for his protest, including death threats, but that hasn’t stopped the quarterback.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said in August before the NFL season started. “To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick might not have everyone in his corner, but he has found support among other athletes, including U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who has knelt before several games. “I cannot stand idly by while there are people in this country who have had to deal with that kind of heartache,” she wrote for the Player’s Tribune on Oct. 6.
Rapinoe knelt in protest before the Seattle Reign’s game against the Chicago Red Stars on Sept. 4 and again on Sept. 15 against Thailand.