When NFL Players Protest Anthem, VP Pence Stops, Gets up and Does Something No One Was Expecting

Vice President Mike Pence was in attendance to watch the Indianapolis Colts versus the San Francisco 49ers game on Sunday, but he then abruptly left.

The reason why he left was in order to make a comment on the protests during the national that have become popular since President Donald Trump’s harsh criticisms. Pence’s departure was in response to 23 San Francisco 49ers taking a knee during the national anthem.Vice President Mike Pence, front center, stands during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)On his Twitter account, Pence said neither he nor Trump will “dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

@VP: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.

Pence added that protests divide the U.S. at a time when we all should be united. He made it clear players can have their own opinions, but the national anthem gives Americans a chance to honor the country and the American flag:

@VP

Replying to @VP: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

@VP:I stand with @POTUS Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.

View image on Twitter@VP:We were proud to stand – with all our @Colts – for our soldiers, our flag, and our National Anthem 

The national anthem protests were started last season by now-free agent Colin Kaepernick, who was with the 49ers at the time. On Sunday, Kaepernick told CBS he is willing to now stand for the anthem if it means he is signed to a team.

Vice President Mike Pence has left the 49ers-Colts game after about a dozen San Francisco players took a knee during the national anthem.

The former Indiana governor flew in so he could watch Peyton Manning’s jersey retirement ceremony on Sunday. But Pence didn’t stick around long.

Pence said on Twitter: “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.”Vice President Mike Pence reacts to fans before an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)The White House also issued a statement from Pence, in which he says Americans should rally around the flag. Pence said: “I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem.”

Pence is a noted sports fan and it’s second major event he’s attended in his home state since taking office in January. He also attended May’s Indianapolis 500, a family tradition.

Manning will become the first Indianapolis-era player in Colts history to have his number retired and will also be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor.

Pence flew in on Saturday after a statue of Manning was unveiled, an event attended by a number of luminaries including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.Instead, Pence spent most of Saturday honoring victims of the Las Vegas shooting before returning to his home state.Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 1.45.37 PMVice President Mike Pence applauds before an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Indianapolis.
Vice President Mike Pence reacts to fans before an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday,

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