National Football League

Supreme Court Justice Calls National Anthem Protesters ‘Dumb and Disrespectful'

"I think it's a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn't lock a person up for doing it," she told Yahoo News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wasn't afraid to be blunt when expressing her opinion about the athletes taking a knee or raising a fist during the ongoing national anthem protests.

"I think it's really dumb of them," Ginsburg told Katie Couric in a Yahoo News interview, but nevertheless said they had a right to protest.

Ginsburg, the latest high-profile figure to weigh in on the protest movement sparked by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, likened dropping to one knee or hoisting a fist into the air while the "Star-Spangled Banner" blares to desecrating the Stars and Stripes.

"I think it's dumb and disrespectful," Ginsburg said in the interview. "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."

Kaepernick has said the protest is about drawing attention to the oppression of black people and other minorities by U.S. law enforcement agents, especially the shootings of unarmed black men.

Ever since the 49ers signal caller took a seat on the bench while the national anthem played before a preseason contest back in August, other athletes across the NFL and beyond have continued the movement, in hopes of raising awareness for racial injustice and police brutality.

While she is not shy to voice her disapproval, Ginsburg, a member of the liberal wing of the Supreme Court, does respect the constitutional right of Kaepernick and athletes everywhere to make a statement on the sideline.

"If they want to be stupid, there's no law that should be preventive," Ginsburg said in the interview. "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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