Vice President Pence Leaves Game After 49ers Players Kneel During Anthem

Vice President Mike Pence walked out of the San Francisco 49ers game against the Indianapolis Colts after several 49ers knelt during the national anthem.

Vice President Mike Pence walked out of the San Francisco 49ers game against the Indianapolis Colts after several 49ers knelt during the national anthem. (Hal Yeager/Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence left Sunday’s San Francisco 49ers game against the Indianapolis Colts after more than a dozen 49ers players took a knee during the national anthem.

The former Indiana governor flew in so he could watch Peyton Manning’s jersey retirement ceremony on Sunday, but Pence didn’t stick around long.

“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,” Pence said on Twitter.

Vice President Pence on Twitter

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.

About an hour later, President Trump tweeted his support of Pence saying, “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.”

Donald J. Trump on Twitter

I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.

The White House also issued a statement from Pence, in which he says Americans should rally around the flag. “While everyone is entitled to their own opinions,” Pence said, “I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem.”

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made headlines last fall when he knelt during the national anthem to protest police violence against people of color. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media at the time.

Several athletes in the Bay Area and around the country have followed Kaepernick’s example in recent weeks, drawing the ire of the Trump administration. Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to kneel during the anthem, and Trump lashed out at Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry after Curry said he hoped the team would not go to the White House for the customary championship visit.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.

Vice President Pence Leaves Game After 49ers Players Kneel During Anthem 10 October,2017Ryan Levi

  • Chairman Meow

    Staged. Red meat for the base.

    • zzz

      True, probably staged.

      As contrived and ridiculous as UCB students when it comes to speech they don’t have to listen to.

      Republicans like Pence as sad sack as the college left.

  • Curious

    Great.

  • NewRep

    No Harvey Weinstein news?

Author

Ryan Levi

Ryan Levi is a reporter and producer at KQED News and the host of the weekly Q’ed Up podcast. Ryan started at KQED as an intern where he reported on-air and online for The California Report, The California Report Magazine and KQED’s daily newscasts. Prior to joining KQED in 2016, Ryan was a general assignment reporter and producer at KBIA-FM, the NPR member station in Columbia, Missouri. Ryan reported on Columbia’s renewed fight against homelessness as well as coordinating the station’s coverage of the annual True/False Film Fest, one of the top documentary film festivals in the country. Ryan has also written about film, food, books, religion, theater and other topics for various publications. You can find Ryan on Twitter @ryan_levi.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor