WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has called the protests of football players who decline to stand for the national anthem “dumb and disrespectful.”
In a wide-ranging interview posted Monday on Yahoo, Ginsburg said she had the same opinion about flag burning.
“I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it,” she said. “I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.”
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other athletes have received national attention for refusing to stand for the anthem this year. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons.
“Colin is my fraternity brother, my ex-teammate, and I believe in what he’s trying to do,” said Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, who is also kneeling during the national anthem before games. “I believe in his actions. So I definitely want to stand by him.”
“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.”
“I feel like this is the right platform,” Marshall said. “This is our only platform to really be heard. And I feel a lot of times people want us to just shut up and entertain them, shut up and play football. But we have voices as well. We’re actually educated individuals that went to college. So when we have an opinion and we speak it, I feel a lot of people bash us for what we have to say.”
“It’s a national conversation,” Marshall said. “People say it’s going to divide our nation and I think it’s going to do just the opposite.”
The 83-year-old justice made news this summer after criticizing GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. Critics called her comments inappropriate for a sitting justice, and she later said the comments were “ill advised.”
In her latest interview, Ginsburg declined to weigh in when asked whether Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country is constitutional. She said the issue could end up before the high court.
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