Vice President Mike Pence was “proud to stand – with all our @Colts” before he and his wife Karen Pence left the Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday, Vice President Pence saying in a tweet, “I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”
“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 Pence tweeted on Sunday.
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 Pence (@VP) October 8, 2017
The vice president and his wife were “[l]ooking forward to cheering for our @Colts & honoring the great career of #18 Peyton Manning at @LucasOilStadium” in their game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday until after the National Anthem had played.
Several NFL players took a knee during the U.S. National Anthem before the game, and the vice president left the event.
Below are tweets Vice President Pence made in response to his departure:
“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 @POTUS Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.
“We were proud to stand - with all our @Colts - for our soldiers, our flag, and our National Anthem”
President Trump made his position on the move by Vice President Pence known on Twitter also, the president tweeting, “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.”
Some critics have ridiculed the action by Vice President Pence, CNN’s Brian Stelter saying it was a “staged moment for Pence to walk out to make a statement.”
President Trump responded to these criticisms in a tweet on Sunday:
“The trip by @VP Pence was long planned. He is receiving great praise for leaving game after the players showed such disrespect for country!”
The trip by @VP Pence was long planned. He is receiving great praise for leaving game after the players showed such disrespect for country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2017