VP Mike Pence Leaves Colts Game Because of National Anthem Protesting

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Mahle Gangi, Staff Writer

Vice President Mike Pence left a Colts game in his hometown of Indianapolis after members of the opposing team, the San Francisco 49ers, knelt during the National Anthem. Pence took to Twitter to explain:

“I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

He continued to issue a full statement opposing the issue: “I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem. At a time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem. I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.”

Trump followed this up with a tweet that read: “ I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.“

Journalists who accompanied the Vice President to the game were not allowed to enter the stadium and were asked to remain in their vehicles. They were informed by staff that “there may be an early departure from the game”; however, they were not given any further details.

Trump and Pence received critical feedback for said early departure. Hawaii Democratic Senator Brian Schatz tweeted, “Wait. This was orchestrated to make a point? That’s not an inexpensive thing to do.” Others on social media agree with this theory, claiming that it was impossible for the pair to not expect some kind of public demonstration/protest during the National Anthem since it had been such an epidemic as of recently and was made mainstream by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who defines it as a protest for racial justice.

Joe Lockhart, NFL spokesman, said the League has no comment to make about what the Vice President did, but San Francisco safety Eric Reid, a participant in the kneeling protests, said in a video posted by a 49ers reporter that he “definitely” believed it was planned. (“This is PR,” Reid points out.)