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Justice Ginsburg: Kneeling for anthem ‘dumb and disrespectful’

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had some harsh words for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem to protest violence against African-Americans and other minorities.

Speaking with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric on Monday morning, the 83-year-old Ginsburg shared her opinion on a variety of subjects, including those athletes taking a knee or sitting during the national anthem before games instead of standing.

“I think it’s really dumb of them,” Ginsburg told Couric. “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 is not, doesn’t jeopardize the health or well-being of other people. It’s a symbol they’re engaged in.”

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Kaepernick began his protest in August by sitting during the national anthem before the first three preseason games. He then decided to kneel in an effort to make the protest more respectful.

Kaepernick said last month that he received death threats for his protest of what he calls racial inequalities and injustices taking place in America, including fatal police shootings.

Other NFL players have also joined in kneeling or by raising their right fists during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Ginsburg told Couric she disagrees with their stance even though the Constitution allows for such an expression.

“If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive,” Ginsburg said. “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.”


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