Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one more person in America who apparently thinks it’s against the law to have an unspoken thought, got to talking about Colin Kaepernick the other day, and classified Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee during the national anthem as “dumb.” Whether or not it is as dumb as a Supreme Court Justice wading into the current presidential campaign, as Justice Ginsburg had already done with Donald Trump, whom she clearly finds as appealing as a Russian hack, is another case for another day.
Anyway, this is what the spunky, Brooklyn-born judge originally said:
“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.”
Upon further review, though, she issued a follow-up statement:
“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.”
I know what you’re thinking. I do. She’s halfway to having her own radio talk show. Or maybe replacing Judge Judy.
By the way? Justice Ginsburg was absolutely allowed to pick a side on Kaepernick, who begins fighting for his football life on Sunday against Rex Ryan, who has his own political ideas — big Trump guy — and Ryan’s Buffalo Bills. It seems everybody in America and to the far reaches of the solar system has picked a side with Kaepernick, and his protest, and his feelings about race and police brutality in America. But at least a brilliant woman finally realized how dumb it was to call out Kaepernick as dumb, even though that is usually the level of debate and discourse in this country, if you disagree with somebody they must be an idiot. Or maybe even a crooked liar.
Was it dumb for Kaepernick to wear those practice socks depicting cops as pigs, even before he began his silent protest and got others across the country, in the pros and college and even high school, to join him? It was dumber than a sock drawer. But it is hard to look at the way he has conducted himself, and this ongoing protest, even as he has clearly put his own career and his own football future in jeopardy.
We will never know how Kaepernick and the 49ers got to the place where he restructured his long-term contract with the team and waived his injury clauses and basically turned the four years remaining on that contract into two. But it’s hardly crazy to think that if he hadn’t played ball with the organization he wouldn’t be playing ball for Chip Kelly’s team today. So with everything that has gone on with him, and the way he has gotten the country to choose sides on what he’s doing, Kaepernick shows you how much he still wants his old job back. He is a player who wants to play.
So he does start playing for his football life today.
Kaepernick bets on himself, that he can somehow retain the form that he showed when he was playing on a 49ers team for Jim Harbaugh that came within one pass — a ball in the air to Michael Crabtree at the end of the 49ers-Ravens Super Bowl in the Superdome — of a Lombardi Trophy and sometimes looked like the kind of two-way threat, running and passing, that Steve Young had once been in San Francisco. He tries to show Kelly that he should have been starting ahead of Blaine Gabbert all along, and that if Kelly was even thinking about starting Christian Ponder ahead of him now that the 49ers coach ought to have his head examined.
He bets that he can still play enough to make another team want to sign him if the 49ers cut him loose after this season, which they sure might do now that he has taken those injury-clauses off the table. And maybe he can.
But you wonder how well Colin Kaepernick, if he manages to stay healthy, will have to play today against the Bills and the rest of the way to make him worth it to the 49ers, or to some other team. Please remember this is a league where general managers and coaches lose their minds if they find out that a potential high draft choice used to get high in college. Now Kaepernick, because of his own beliefs, has turned himself into this kind of flashpoint figure because of his protest, become famous in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with running or passing or winning the game.
Look at it this way, just around here: Say he does play well across the rest of the season. Say the Jets are looking for a quarterback before next season, just because the Jets are always looking for a new quarterback. Are the Jets willing to take on all of it with Kaepernick? Will his talent be worth the baggage? This isn’t about truth or beauty of the nobility of his beliefs or passion for them. This is about business.
Usually in sports, your career can survive a nuclear attack if you’re still really good. What we are going to find out across the rest of the season is if Kaepernick, who has chosen to be a social activist at this time in America, can survive his own social activism in the National Football League. We really are about to find out what happens with the guy now that he stands up.
Theo’s brilliance, Dusty’s reaction & stadium ‘credits’ . . .
– I’m just throwing this out there, but if the Cubs finally win it all this season, would it be okay if Theo Epstein came and ran the Knicks?
If our football Giants don’t make the playoffs this year, you start to wonder how much money they’re going to need to spend next year on free agents.
No kidding, Sunday’s game against the Ravens would be a good time for Giants’ fans to see that they really are going to get a bang for all the bucks Jerry Reese was allowed to spend, especially on defense.
We talked about it before the season and are still talking about it now:
The Giants are great when they chase the other quarterback around and then put him on the ground.
They still aren’t doing that, as much time as we spend talking about Eli throwing balls into the ground.
– It would have been kind of a cool thing if Clayton Kershaw had gotten into Game 5 against the Nationals the other night before midnight.
Two 9-inning games in that series lasted more than four hours, which makes you think that there’s still work to be done on that whole pace-of-play thing.
Maybe, though, things would have moved along at a slightly brisker pace if Dusty Baker hadn’t managed to blow through six pitchers in the top of the seventh (one left because of injury, not boredom), as he was panic-managing his team into next season.
Max Scherzer, the best Baker has and one of the best anybody has, had thrown a grand total of 99 pitches and given up one run — the home run Joc Pederson had just hit — when Dusty gave him the hook.
And then, as my Hall of Fame friend Bill Madden liked to say in moments like these, it became an endless search for the guy who didn’t have it.
But if you’re looking for a silver lining, Baker did better on this night than his third-base coach, Bob Henley, who ran Jayson Werth into a sure out in the sixth when the Nats were trying to make it 2-0.
Werth was out by so much you got the idea that he’d started running from Baltimore on the play.
I’m going to remind you one more time:
“IQ” by Joe Ide.
Goes on sale Tuesday.
You won’t have to thank me if you buy it, I’m just doing my job.
While you’re at it, buy a wonderful book about courage and hope called “Where Fairy Tales Go,” by a friend of mine named Annette Ross.
Kind of a slow week for Giuliani on the old campaign trail.
What, cat got his tongue?
Or should I be staying away from any cat references for the time being?
– The NFL has run out of what are known as stadium “credits” in its current collective-bargaining agreement, and it was reported this week that the league might want to go back to the table and open up the CBA as a way of extending it beyond its current term.
This would be because the Raiders clearly want to move to Las Vegas and it will take a new stadium — stop me if you’ve heard this one before —to keep the Chargers in San Diego.
But you have to believe that the only way this happens is if the league, and Roger Goodell, give back some of the insane power on discipline Goodell got the last time they negotiated.
Stay tuned on this one.
If they do go back to the table, no kidding, I hope they televise the negotiations.
As George Young told me back in the 1980s, and famously:
When they say it’s not about the money, it’s always about the money.
– Baseball is always a players’ game, because they’re all players’ games and yet:
Terry Francona vs. John Farrell in that ALDS between the Indians and Red Sox didn’t seem like much of a fair fight.
It only took seven pitches early Thursday morning for the great Kershaw to wipe out a whole lot of bad October memories.
Two to Daniel Murphy.
Five to Wilmer Difo.
Like they say in hockey: A save and a beauty, for one of the best pitchers of all time and one of the best guys in baseball.
You really are starting to think, off just the schedule the Jets have had over the first six games, that they have to play the Cubs next.
Every time I hear about creepy clown hysteria I think about the current presidential campaign.
I may be slightly off in my math, but I’m pretty sure Tim Tebow and I have the same batting average in the Arizona Fall League.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News