Ginsburg: I was ‘harsh’ to Kaepernick over anthem protests
© Getty

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she went too far criticizing NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s protest during the national anthem.

“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,” she said in a statement Friday, according to BuzzFeed.


“Barely aware of the incident or its purpose, my comments were inappropriately dismissive and harsh. I should have declined to respond.”

Ginsburg on Monday fiercely criticized Kaepernick and other professional athletes refusing to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" before games.

“Would I arrest them for doing it? No,” she told Yahoo News. "I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. It’s dangerous to arrest people for conduct that doesn’t jeopardize the health or well-being of other people.”

Ginsburg said she felt the same way about flag burning.

“ I think it’s a terrible thing to do. I wouldn’t lock up a person for doing it,” she said. "I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act. 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.”

Kaepernick sparked national debate in August by kneeling through the national anthem during a preseason football game.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag that oppresses black people and people of color,” the San Francisco 49ers player said at the time.

Kaepernick has since repeatedly knelt during the playing of the anthem, inspiring other sports figures to follow his lead.

The football star on Tuesday said he found Ginsburg’s comments disheartening coming from a judge on the nation’s highest court.

“It is disappointing to hear a Supreme Court justice call a protest against injustices and oppression ‘stupid,’ ‘dumb’ in reference to players doing that,” he said while talking to reporters near his locker.

The 49ers on Tuesday announced Kaepernick would start as quarterback during this Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.