Pence Leaves Game Over NFL Protest

Vice President Mike Pence walked out of a football game in Indianapolis after several players knelt during the national anthem yesterday — re-igniting a conflict between the Trump administration and the NFL that boiled over two weeks ago.

Pence, Indiana’s former governor, was attending an Indianapolis Colts game in which former quarterback Peyton Manning was being honored.

But Pence left before kickoff after Colts players linked arms during the anthem and a dozen members of the opposing team, the San Francisco 49ers, knelt.

“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 tweeted right after leaving. “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,” Pence tweeted. “I stand with @POTUS Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.”

But Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said the anthem issue was a winning one with Trump’s base, and that Pence’s participation was a show of unity.

“Maybe Pence didn’t come at this on his own, but what Trump is trying to say is that his administration is walking in unison,” O’Connell said.

Read more from Dan Atkinson at the Boston Herald

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