VP Pence leaves NFL game after players kneel during anthem

By Michael Marot, Related Press

Final Up to date: Sunday, October 08, 2017, 7:02 PM EDT

Vice President Mike Pence left the 49ers-Colts recreation after a few dozen San Francisco gamers took a knee through the nationwide anthem Sunday.

  • VP Mike Pence left NFL recreation after gamers took a knee throughout nationwide anthem
  •  In a press release, Pence stated People ought to “rally across the flag”
  • 49ers security Eric Reid referred to as Pence’s departure a “PR stunt”

The previous Indiana governor flew in so he might watch Peyton Manning’s jersey retirement ceremony. Pence didn’t stick round lengthy.

Proper round kickoff, Pence wrote on Twitter: “I left as we speak’s Colts recreation as a result of @POTUS and I can’t dignify any occasion that disrespects our troopers, our Flag, or our Nationwide Anthem.”

The White Home additionally issued a press release from Pence, through which he stated People ought to rally across the flag. Pence stated: “I don’t assume it’s an excessive amount of to ask NFL gamers to respect the Flag and our Nationwide Anthem.”

San Francisco 49ers security Eric Reid stated Pence’s departure seemed like “a PR stunt.”

“He knew our group has had probably the most gamers protest, he knew that we have been in all probability going to do it once more,” Reid stated. “That is what systemic oppression appears like: man with energy involves the sport, tweets a pair issues out and leaves the sport in an try and thwart our efforts.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy declined to touch upon Pence’s walkout. The Colts additionally had no remark, and after their 26-23 additional time victory, Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano steered away from the difficulty.

“No,” Pagano stated when requested if he had any response to what Pence did.

Colts gamers stood in unison, locking arms however standing all through the anthem.

However the 49ers have been among the many most seen protesters within the league. Final yr, former quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the motion to kneel or sit through the anthem, and Reid and different teammates backed him up on and off the sector.

President Donald Trump later tweeted: “I requested @VP Pence to go away stadium if any gamers kneeled, disrespecting our nation. I’m pleased with him and @SecondLady Karen.”

Pence is a famous sports activities fan and it was the second main occasion he’s attended in his house state since taking workplace in January. He additionally attended Might’s Indianapolis 500, a household custom.

Manning turned the primary Indianapolis-period participant in Colts historical past to have his quantity retired. He additionally was inducted into the staff’s Ring of Honor.

Pence flew in on Saturday after a statue of Manning was unveiled, an occasion attended by a lot of luminaries together with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. As an alternative, Pence spent most of Saturday honoring victims of the Las Vegas capturing earlier than returning to his residence state.

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