As most of us are aware by now, Vice President Mike Pence made headlines this Sunday when he attended an NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Indianapolis Colts. But it wasn’t his appearance at the stadium alongside his wife Karen which took the attention of the media outlets, but instead, the fact that he left at the start of the game, after several players kneeled during the national anthem.
When he was asked about his action, the VP said, ‘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.’
Pence’s action was widely praised by conservative supporters as well as President Donald Trump himself, who said he personally told the VP to take action if a kneeling takes place, before he went on to say he is proud of him and his wife for leaving.
But as a response to Pence’s walkout, the NFL Player’s Association released a statement this Sunday evening, affirming the Constitutional rights to peacefully protest.
Players have also raised their voice on the matter, with the most recent one being Eric Reid, safety for the 49ers, which called out the VP, saying:
‘This is what systemic oppression looks like. A man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple of things out and leaves the game with an attempt to thwart our efforts.’
Statement by @E_Reid35 regarding the Vice President’s brief appearance at the game. “This is what systemic oppression looks like.” pic.twitter.com/Aoy2GWons2
— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) October 8, 2017