Vice President Mike Pence Leaves NFL Game Because Of Kneeling Players

Vice President Mike Pence walks out of the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers game when players kneel for the national anthem. Pence was on hand to honor former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning who was having a statue unveiled in Indianapolis and was getting his number retired at halftime. He will be inducted into the team's ring of honor. Things went off track when the 49ers had over 20 players kneeling during the national anthem. The Colts wore black t-shirts that said "We will" on the front and "Stand for quality, justice, unity, respect, dialogue, opportunity" on the back.

Mike Pence

Pence spoke of his departure in a statement:

"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."

Pence tweeted about the moment after the anthem was played — which was a big change from his earlier tweets of him wearing Colts gear.

The trend of kneeling during the national anthem was started when Colin Kaepernick, then of the 49ers, first sat during the anthem to protest racial injustice. After discussing it with a former Green Beret, he changed it to kneeling at the other man's suggesting, thinking that kneeling is a sign of respect, just not the same as standing.

President Donald Trump waged into the debate a while back telling a crowd in Alabama that he wished the owners would fire the players who kneeled, calling them "sons of bitches" and making the issue about patriotism instead of the originally intended statement about racial equality.

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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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