On Monday morning, in the midst of the Republican Party's very public meltdown, Yahoo's Katie Couric released her half-hour interview with #yasqueen Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was promoting her new book, My Own Words. When the subject of Kaepernick's national anthem protest was brought up, RBG did not beat around the bush.
Ginsburg told Couric she believed Kaepernick's protest—in which he, and many others, have taken a knee prior to the national anthem in the name of drawing attention to this country's many racial injustices—to be "dumb and disrespectful," and characterized other athletes following his lead as "really dumb of them." OK, Ruth!
“Would I arrest them for doing it? No,” Ginsburg told Yahoo. “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.”
— Colin Campbell (@colincampbell) October 10, 2016
When Couric asked if Ginsburg believed Kaepernick had the right to protest, she agreed he did, but still managed to slip in an insult while doing so.
“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.”
Ginsburg's comments stand in contrast to President Obama's, who, last week, issued his support for Kaepernick's actions.
"There are a lot of ways you can do it," Obama said. "As a general matter, when it comes to the flag and the national anthem and the meaning that that holds for our men and women in uniform and those who fought for us—that is a tough thing for them to get past to then hear what his deeper concerns are."
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.