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Vice President Mike Pence Leaves Indianapolis Colts NFL Game After Players Take a Knee

Mike Pence, Karen Pence, NFL, Indianapolis Colts, National Anthem, Kneel
Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence stand for the National Anthem before the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017.AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Vice President Mike Pence left an NFL game on Sunday, October 8, after several players took a knee during the national anthem.

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Before the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, Pence tweeted a pic with his wife, Karen, which showed them both in Colts apparel. “Looking forward to cheering for our @Colts & honoring the great career of #18 Peyton Manning at @LucasOilStadium today,” he wrote. “Go Colts!”

Mike Pence, Karen Pence, Indianapolis Colts, National Anthem, Kneel
Mike Pence/Twitter

But an hour later the former governor of Indiana tweeted, “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.”

ESPN reports that 20 members of the 49ers team knelt during the national anthem with their hands over their hearts, while the Colts stood with their arms locked and wore black T-shirts with the words “We Will” on the front and “Stand for equality, justice, unity, respect, dialogue, opportunity” on the back.

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“At a time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience…” Pence continued in flurry of tweets. “…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 @POTUS Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.”

He then shared a photo that showed him and his wife standing with their hands over their hearts in the stadium as “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played.

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President Donald Trump later wrote on Twitter, “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.”

As previously reported, NFL players have been taking a knee during the national anthem in protest over police brutality and racism. The protests began in August 2016, with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but the issue was ramped up last month when Trump spoke out against the move at a rally in Alabama, telling NFL owners to fire players who kneeled. 

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