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Justice Ginsburg: NFL anthem protests are dumb but legal

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 18: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at an annual Women's History Month reception hosted by Pelosi in the U.S. capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  This year's event honored the women Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images) Getty Images

If Tom Brady had continued to fight his suspension with an appeal to the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have become instantly relevant to the NFL.

She’s relevant to the NFL anyway, given comments to Katie Couric of Yahoo regarding the national anthem protests at football games.

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. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. 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. What I would do is strongly take issue with the point of view that they are expressing when they do that.”

Her position accurately reflects the law of the land. It’s legal to not stand for the national anthem, and it’s legal to call those who don’t stand for the anthem dumb or disrespectful.

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40 Responses to “Justice Ginsburg: NFL anthem protests are dumb but legal”
  1. patsbrat says: Oct 10, 2016 6:13 PM

    So if it is legal to do it and legal to disagree with it why are we still talking about it?

    It was originally done to bring specific issues to light; this has been accomplished. Now let’s focus the discussion on the issues, not the act of protest.

  2. perfect1stranger says: Oct 10, 2016 6:13 PM

    Nobody said they’re illegal. They’re just stupid. We as taxpayers pay the NFL to promote our military. Protest on your dime and your time, you out-of-touch multi-millionaires.

  3. maust1013 says: Oct 10, 2016 6:15 PM

    “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.”

    Well there you have it, common ground. The players involved have more in common with Roger than they might have though

  4. madmike66 says: Oct 10, 2016 6:20 PM

    Is it also legal to watch less football or none at all because we think the protesting players are a holes? Because if that’s legal, it seems like a lot of fans are exercising that right this season.

  5. boobsmcgoo says: Oct 10, 2016 6:44 PM

    And she’s the biggest lib on the court. If a grumpy old conservative like Clarence Thomas had said this the media would crush him!

  6. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Oct 10, 2016 6:45 PM

    The issue here is not Kaepernick’s undisputed First Amendment right to free expression. Rather, it’s the wisdom—or lack thereof—of disrespecting our nation’s song, which honors the ultimate sacrifices made by those who fought to preserve that right. Just because Kaepernick has the right doesn’t make him right.

  7. toybkshr says: Oct 10, 2016 7:14 PM

    Like many other posters on here, the NFL games were my haven from all the politics and other bad news I watch/listen to during the week.

    So, like others I continue to watch the team I am a fan of’s games, but have cut back & eliminated watching other teams games. I do watch another game if it’s important tot he division race. Won’t be watching tonites game.

  8. abninf says: Oct 10, 2016 7:14 PM

    patsbrat says:

    It was originally done to bring specific issues to light; this has been accomplished.
    ======================================

    The “specific issues” have been in the light and in the news for a few years now. Unless you’ve been living on Mars. This sudden anthem protest has accomplished nothing but dividing people even more.

  9. meximyke says: Oct 10, 2016 7:37 PM

    Ginsburg is an old hag , that the world has passed by! She needs to step down and just fade away into the sunset!

  10. craniator says: Oct 10, 2016 7:54 PM

    This is, quite possibly, the first intelligent statement this woman has made in the about the past ten years.

  11. pastabelly says: Oct 10, 2016 7:59 PM

    I think most agree with Ginsburg. It’s legal, but stupid and disrespectful. How much more can anyone add. That about says it.

  12. minnesotablizzard says: Oct 10, 2016 8:07 PM

    We are so programmed and brainwashed at this point, we don’t even realize that we are. Look up guys like Edward Bernays and tell me 2016 isn’t a product of people like him.

  13. allamer1 says: Oct 10, 2016 8:26 PM

    Probably the first time I can agree with Ginsburg. But there is no right for players to take their protest to the football field. The NFL’s product is football games presented with the national anthem. It does not include player protests. The fans aren’t there to see that. The players have no authority to use that presentation for their own purposes. They can protest on their own time away from the football field.

  14. nhpats says: Oct 10, 2016 8:32 PM

    abninf says:
    Oct 10, 2016 7:14 PM
    patsbrat says:

    It was originally done to bring specific issues to light; this has been accomplished.
    ======================================

    The “specific issues” have been in the light and in the news for a few years now. Unless you’ve been living on Mars. This sudden anthem protest has accomplished nothing but dividing people even more.

    ———-
    Not only that, but it was likely “originally done” because Kaep was pouting because he was passed over for Blaine Gabbert. He didn’t come up with the “protest”‘excuse until he had to save face.

  15. joecool16280 says: Oct 10, 2016 8:36 PM

    The NFL is losing its ratings cause the product isn’t that good anymore.

    The game flow on TV so bad with all the commercials and game stoppages for whatever reason. I actually went out and did errands yesterday and couldn’t have cared less about missing the games. It’s not “must see” anymore in my opinion.

  16. bamboozle99 says: Oct 10, 2016 8:41 PM

    They got the whole country to talk about it. Call it whatever you want, their mission is accomplished.

  17. 4thandlonger says: Oct 10, 2016 8:44 PM

    Nobody said they’re illegal. They’re just stupid. We as taxpayers pay the NFL to promote our military. Protest on your dime and your time, you out-of-touch multi-millionaires.

    ——————————————————————
    By out of touch multi-millionaires I hope you mean the NFL owners and weapons manufacturers who drive the US war machine.

    The NFL accepting money to promote a military that sees young men dying in foreign countries in pointless wars that cost the nation billions. Billions that could go towards fixing social issues at home. Now that is an issue worth protesting.

  18. Daniel P-C says: Oct 10, 2016 8:45 PM

    Exactly what part of “their point of view” does Ms. Ginsberg think is dumb? 1) That it’s important to have a national conversation about race – and keep it at the forefront? 2) That people should be allowed to disagree publicly and that this might be one of the more visible ways to do that? 3) That the flag might not, in fact, stand for everything that is honorable? Who’s honor?

    People across the NFL and other sports differ widely in what they are trying to say during the anthem. There is no clear statement as far as I can tell. To imply otherwise seems like poor analysis. Justice Ginsberg has a unique platform for expressing her views, most others must create one.

    Her comments seem short on awareness of the complexities. Even Supreme Court justices can reveal unconscious bias.

  19. rcali says: Oct 10, 2016 8:52 PM

    Thoughts and prayers out to the families of the Palm Springs cops who died this weekend in yet another hate inspired ambush. Two less people on duty to protect your families and property.

  20. mrgschwind says: Oct 10, 2016 8:53 PM

    “The issue here is not Kaepernick’s undisputed First Amendment right to free expression. Rather, it’s the wisdom—or lack thereof—of disrespecting our nation’s song, which honors the ultimate sacrifices made by those who fought to preserve that right.”

    Yeah listen to the third verse of the song and I’m not surprised he refuses to stand.

  21. southbison says: Oct 10, 2016 8:54 PM

    Right on!

  22. cwjim says: Oct 10, 2016 8:55 PM

    The NFL sucks. Major college is kinda starting to suck. I started watching MAC football, and am loving it. There were protests in a game there recently, and I didn’t care, because of where it came from. A bunch college kids, trying to make a difference. Do I agree with them? Maybe, maybe not. Doesn’t matter. It was coming from a place of honesty, just like the players on the field.

  23. bigotshamer says: Oct 10, 2016 9:24 PM

    No- No- No- Notorious. Notorious!

  24. grandstandrice says: Oct 10, 2016 9:33 PM

    How wonderful to know a member of the highest court of our land thinks expressing an unpopular opinion is stupid and arrogant.

  25. kpunmusic says: Oct 10, 2016 9:44 PM

    Little

  26. kpunmusic says: Oct 10, 2016 9:44 PM

    Worm

  27. switchwitch59 says: Oct 10, 2016 10:22 PM

    @abninf

    Good to hear from you, hope everything’s alright @FBNC.

  28. critter69 says: Oct 10, 2016 10:29 PM

    Rhode Island Patriots Fan?

    Do you know when the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ became the official US National Anthem?

    It wasn’t the official National Anthem during the 1896, 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1920, 1924 or 1928 Olympiads. (1916, scheduled for Berlin, was not held because of WW I.) The organizers had to guess what song to play if the need arose.

  29. Paper Lions says: Oct 10, 2016 10:40 PM

    I Supreme Court “Justice” calling someone else arrogant….pot meet kettle.

  30. finchy74 says: Oct 10, 2016 11:36 PM

    Remember the good old days when Supreme Court Justices worked in quiet dignity and didn’t feel the need to weigh in on political matters?

    Of course, I also remember the days where it was strictly verboten for a sitting President to politicize the court.

    My, how times have changed.

  31. shanaldo says: Oct 11, 2016 12:02 AM

    I find it very interesting that other sports (such as Nascar) would be DONE with anyone that wouldn’t be adult about the whole situation. You are allowed to feel your feelings – but on your own time, please. (And perhaps not even then!)

    It’s called “restraint” and some adults have it better than others.

  32. mykl954 says: Oct 11, 2016 6:57 AM

    The players have every legal right to protest what they perceive to be police brutality.

    Likewise, it would be fitting if in response, after the anthem has ended, those who protest the wholesale war on law enforcement and resulting fatalities remain standing in a standard salute posture for another 2 minutes commemorating those fallen police officers to make the point that they’re appreciated by the not so vocal or in your face majority.

  33. sdelmonte says: Oct 11, 2016 9:23 AM

    I usually agree with RBG’s opinions from the bench, but she really shouldn’t be saying this at all, and she sounds pretty intolerant.

  34. bigotshamer says: Oct 11, 2016 9:55 AM

    Did the SCOTUS work in quiet dignity when Hugo Black was a justice? Some of you have so thoroughly romanticized the bigotry of the past, you now have no concept of its prominence in the present.

  35. nowearman714 says: Oct 11, 2016 12:04 PM

    JHFC….NO ONE said it was “illegal”.

    This article is a waste of space. Unless of course the author wanted to see a bunch of stupid arguing in the comments section. If that was the goal, well….: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

  36. kmartin173 says: Oct 11, 2016 1:19 PM

    You know you’re on the wrong side of it when one of the craziest liberals in this country doesn’t have your back.

  37. coachglove says: Oct 11, 2016 3:28 PM

    Daniel P-C says:
    Oct 10, 2016 8:45 PM

    Exactly what part of “their point of view” does Ms. Ginsberg think is dumb? 1) That it’s important to have a national conversation about race – and keep it at the forefront? 2) That people should be allowed to disagree publicly and that this might be one of the more visible ways to do that? 3) That the flag might not, in fact, stand for everything that is honorable? Who’s honor?
    __________________________________

    Maybe their POV that sitting or kneeling during the anthem actually creates discussion about anything other than kneeling or sitting during the anthem. A protest should always have an objective and whatever act of protest one engages in should always assist in accomplishing the objective. All we are talking about is the protest, not the underlying issue. So, as an objective measure of protest, this one has failed.

  38. coachglove says: Oct 11, 2016 3:32 PM

    grandstandrice says:
    Oct 10, 2016 9:33 PM

    How wonderful to know a member of the highest court of our land thinks expressing an unpopular opinion is stupid and arrogant.
    _________________________________

    Her job is to measure legality…so as long as she is clearly stating t is legal, then she has done her job. She is still entitled to her opinions as a private citizen….her job title doesn’t matter here except that it is generally a well respected position from which to opine. Should a case regarding flag burning come before her, she could issue a legal opinion that said “I find it stupid, but legal” and that would fulfill her duties just fine.

  39. Rolo Tomassi says: Oct 11, 2016 4:32 PM

    The players protesting by taking a knee or sitting are also dumb and disrespectful

  40. dedxx says: Oct 11, 2016 11:33 PM

    If you want to get all constitutional now, social injustice is a real problem that needs to be eradicated, “Black lives matter” is garbage…ALL LIVES MATTER YOU MORONS, and not standing with your cover removed during the national anthem is very disrespectful. Don’t like my words or how I present them? That’s not my problem and I thank Mr. Kaepernick for reminding me that we all have the right to free speech even if you don’t like the words that come out of my mouth. Funny how people want to be real, but when it gets real they really want to go back to when it wasn’t so real…good luck with that…the truth will hurt.

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