Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Friday that she regretted her criticism of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s gameday protests 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. Barely aware of the incident or its purpose, my comments were inappropriately dismissive and harsh. I should have declined to respond,” Ginsburg said in a statement.
Earlier this week, the supreme court justice denounced the protests, which Kaepernick and other professional athletes have launched in response to police brutality and other social injustices.
"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,” Ginsburg told Yahoo’s Katie Couric in an interview that was published Monday.
Kaepernick told the San Jose Mercury News Tuesdaythat he was disappointed to hear Ginsburg's criticism.
In August, Kaepernick first declined to stand during a performance of the national anthem in a protest he said was intended "to bring awareness and make people realize what's really going on in this country."
The quarterback cited "police brutality" as one of the issues he hoped to draw attention to. His gesture has inspired a number of other professional athletes to follow suit.
"There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, people aren't being held accountable for, and that's something that needs to change ... this country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all — and it's not happening for all right now," he told reporters at the time.
Kaepernick’s demonstrations have attracted widespread attention, and even condemnation from GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Kaepernick will receive renewed focus on Sunday when he is scheduled to lead the San Francisco 49ers as starting quarterback against the Buffalo Bills.