Mike Pence Just Left a NFL Game Because Some Players Knelt During the National Anthem

NFL players have caught the nation's attention the past few weeks for beginning the #TakeaKnee trend, in which football players kneel during the national anthem at their games to reflect on racial discrimination. President Donald Trump and his administration haven't exactly been fans of taking a knee, claiming that the move equates to disrespecting the American flag and the national anthem. Vice President Mike Pence has taken another vocal stance against taking a knee, choosing to leave a Sunday football game when some players knelt during the national anthem, CNN reports. 

Alongside his wife, Pence was attending a game between the Indiana Colts and the San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis's Lucas Oil Stadium. The former governor of Indiana left the stadium after several 49ers players knelt during "The Star-Spangled Banner." Colin Kaepernick, who first brought attention to kneeling during the anthem, was previously a quarterback for the 49ers. 

"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," Pence posted on Twitter. "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." 

"I stand with Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem," Pence said at the end of his official statement. He then shared a photo of himself and his wife Karen standing during the game's national anthem, but when comparing the photo to a selfie Pence shared earlier, it seems that one of the photos was taken on a different day. 

Although Pence implies he acted independently in leaving the game, Trump tweeted a response to the event shortly after, saying, "I asked Pence to leave [the] stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and Karen."

Regardless of the political message Pence emphasized by leaving the game, Colts fans are expected to react negatively to his decision. Sunday's game honored former Colt Peyton Manning, who will be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor and see his jersey number retired during halftime. Fans suggest that Pence leaving the game early overshadowed Manning's moment in the spotlight.

Neither the football teams nor Manning has officially commented on Pence's decision yet.