Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers kneels during the anthem prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers defeated the
Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

“I am not going to value a piece of cloth over people’s lives,” said Kaepernick in response to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s remarks about his National Anthem protest.

Toni Akindele
Oct, 14, 2016

Colin Kaepernick found Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s attempt to delegitimize protests against injustice and oppression “disappointing.”

“I think it’s really dumb of them,” Ginsburg, 83, said of the National Anthem protests spearheaded by Kaepernick. “Would I arrest them for doing it? No. I think it’s dumb and disrespectful.”

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“If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive,” she continued. “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.”

Ginsburg then compared Kaepernick and other athletes' protest to flag burning and expressed that though it’s not illegal, it’s a “terrible thing to do.”

In response, Kaepernick told The Star Tuesday that “people are getting too caught up in the flag.”

“At the end of the day, the flag is just a piece of cloth and I am not going to value a piece of cloth over people’s lives,” said the San Francisco 49ers quarterback. “That’s just not something I can do, it’s not something I feel morally right doing and my character won’t allow me to do that.”

Kaepernick said that while he understands the importance of the flag and the emotional connection Americans have to its symbolism, the ideals and freedoms the flag represents are not being enjoyed by all Americans.