Ruth Bader Ginsburg opinion of Colin Kaepernick lead protests is backhanded tolerance


Katie Couric sits down with SCOTUS Associate Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Photo: Screenshot/Yahoo!)

On same day Christopher Columbus Day is being upstaged by a celebration of another Christopher Notorious B.I.G., the Notorious R.B.G. is making news with her backhanded tolerant opinion of Colin Kaepernick.

The liberal leaning Supreme Court judge expressed to Yahoo!’s Katie Couric on Monday in an exclusive interview she believed various demonstrations to protest the national anthem before games were “stupid” “ridiculous” and “disrespectful.”

Justice Ginsburg expounded on her opinion by comparing national anthem protests to flag burning. Ginsburg also implied that despite her offense at the practice, national anthem protests should be lawful, sharing it would “dangerous” to “arrest people” for conduct that does not “jeopardize the health and wellbeing of other people.”

Justice Ginsburg provide no factual analysis on why she thought national anthem protests were “stupid” “ridiculous” and “disrespectful.”

Flag burning is protected by the First Amendment of the United States constitution with limited exceptions, and there have been no arrests or threats of arrest of Colin Kaepernick or other players protesting the national anthem.

The First Amendment is also not applicable in commercial settings. Organizations can take action to limit the speech of its employees.

Colin Kaepernick is an employee of the San Francisco 49ers and is currently under a standard player agreement undergirded by the collective bargaining agreement between the players and the National Football League’s 32 owners. The standard player agreement and collective bargaining agreement is also buttressed by the league’s bylaws, rules, and policies.

The National Football League regulates the speech of its players just before games via interviews and pregrame routines, during games with rules of play, uniforms, celebrations, and on-field language, and after game press conferences and appearances.

Currently the NFL does not require its players stand for the national anthem.

However, protests have spread to NCAA and high school settings with different legal standards.

Colin Kaepernick has been clear in the reason for his protest, and Ginsburg, like many others who have criticized Kaepernick, have addressed the manor of protest with tolerant insult instead of the substance underlying the protest.

Ginsburg merely stating national anthem protests are legal yet decrying them “stupid” lacks depth and is a missed opportunity to address the legal applicability of Kaepernick’s arguments on racial inequality.

Ginsburg even offered to “point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.” Katie Couric never explored why protesting the anthem would be ridiculous.

There has been enough questions about “kneel or stand.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. once pinned “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”:

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

Ginsburg may think it its legally permissible to protest, but not not addressing the underlying issues is a silent concurrent vote for the status quo.

Exavier B. Pope I, Esq. is an award-winning attorney, on-air legal analyst, media personality, Fortune 500 speaker, content creator, writer, tastemaker, thought leader, and RYT studio certified yoga teacher. Mr. Pope is the host of #SuitUP Podcast for his production company 528 Media Group, and  host of the Radical Inspiration Podcast. Mr. Pope has over 200+ appearances on air, including international television on BBC and Al Jazeera English; national television on Fox News Channel, HLN, NBC Nightly News, Al Jazeera America, WGN Morning News, Fox Business Channel, and Huff Post Live; Top 3 Local Media Markets on Fox, CBS, and NBC; international radio on BBC Radio; national radio on ESPN Radio, Clear Channel Radio, NBC Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio; written and contributed digitally to The Hollywood Reporter, CNBC, Huffington Post, Jet, and Black Enterprise; and has appeared in other media outlets nationally and internationally. Mr. Pope is represented by top media and literary agency RLR Associates.

© 2016, Exavier B. Pope I, Esq., 528 Media Group.

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