Colin Kaepernick is cemented in his beliefs concerning “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
When Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called Kaepernick’s national anthem protest “dumb” and “disrespectful” this week during an interview with Yahoo News, the 49ers QB fired back. “It is disappointing to hear a Supreme Court justice call a protest against injustices and oppression ‘stupid, dumb’ in reference to players doing that,” Kaepernick said, according to The Star.
“I was reading an article and it refers to white critique of black protests and how they try to delegitimize it by calling it ‘idiotic, dumb, stupid,’ things of that nature, so they can sidestep the real issue,” he continued. “As I was reading that I saw more and more truth how this has been approached by people in power and white people in power in particular.”
Since the pre-season Kaepernick has committed to kneeling down during every game’s national anthem. His silence has spurred a movement among high schoolers, college and professional athletes.
“I think it’s really dumb of them,” Ginsburg said. “Would I arrest them for doing it? No. I think it’s dumb and disrespectful…if they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive. 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.”
Amid Ginsburg’s criticism, the football player says he understands how some people’s sentiments are tied to the U.S. flag. Yet he added, “People are getting too caught up in the flag…At the end of the day the flag is just a piece of cloth and I am not going to value a piece of cloth over people’s lives. That’s just not something I can do, it’s not something I feel morally right doing and my character won’t allow me to do that.”
Regardless of all the backlash, Kaepernick says he’s at peace with himself and his life.