WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg apologized Friday for characterizing as “dumb and disrespectful” the national anthem protests by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other athletes.
The 83-year-old Ginsburg said her remarks about Kaepernick and others who have refused to stand for the anthem were “inappropriately harsh and dismissive.” In a statement released by the court, she said she was barely aware of the protests or their purpose.
“I should have declined to respond,” she said of the question posed during an interview that was posted on Yahoo on Monday.
It’s the second time in recent months that Ginsburg has apologized for public comments. She said her comments criticizing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in July were “ill advised.”
The latest controversy arose after Ginsburg commented on Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the anthem, a stance since adopted by other football players and athletes in other sports. She said the athletes have the right to protest, “if they want to be stupid.”
Kaepernick had a measured response to Ginsburg’s initial comments.
“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 San Jose Mercury News.