WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is apologizing for characterizing as “dumb and disrespectful” the national anthem protests by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other athletes.
The court released a statement from Ginsburg on Friday in which she said she was barely aware of the anthem protest and that her comments were “inappropriately dismissive and harsh.”
“Some of you have inquired about a book interview in which I was asked how I felt about Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who refused to stand for the national anthem,” Ginsburg’s statement read. “Barely aware of the incident or its purpose, my comments were inappropriately dismissive and harsh. I should have declined to respond.”
It’s the second time in recent months that the 83-year-old 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, 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.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.