Vice President Mike Pence, who was watching the football game between Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, left after some of the players protested when the National Anthem was being played. He left the stadium as he felt that he did not want to dignify the demonstration by being present there.
Later Pence wrote on his Twitter page that he would not dignify any event that disrespected their soldiers, their Flag and their National Anthem and that is the reason he left the Colts game. Later, he also released another full statement as to why he opposed the protest. Even President Donald Trump tweeted that it was him who had asked Pence to leave in case the players kneeled and disrespected their country. He also added that he was proud of him.
More than 20 players from the 49ers have been kneeling during the National Anthem, and this has been going on for the past two weeks. Other players stood behind the kneeling players and one of their hands on their kneeling roommates and the other on their heart. The Colts have been wearing black t-shirts for two weeks now. The t-shirts real 'We Will' in the front, while at the back its written 'Stand for equality, justice, unity, respect, dialogue, opportunity'.
According to 49ers safety Eric Reid, the action by Pence was premeditated. He said that he has not been to any football games before and had tweeted a photo of him at the Colt's game that was three years old. According to him, this was all a PR stunt as he knew that their team had been protesting and knew that they would do it again in this match.
Pence, on the other end, said that he and his wife, Karen Pence, were looking forward to watching the game and cheering for the Colts. But, along with the tweet, the photo that he posted was the old one as he was wearing a suit on Sunday whereas in the photograph he was wearing a Colts polo shirt. A pool reporter had also said that he was asked to stay outside the stadium as the Vice President would leave early.
NFL players demonstrating the protest by kneeling down on their knees during the National Anthem said that they were not disrespecting the National Anthem or their Flag. They were protesting against police brutality and racism. The protest started in August 2016 after one of the former players sat down during the national anthem.