Vice President Mike Pence left the 49ers-Colts game early Sunday after more than 20 of the 49ers players kneeled during the national anthem. Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was in Indianapolis to celebrate Peyton Manning's jersey retirement and induction into the Colts' Ring of Honor during Sunday's game at Lucas Oil Stadium; after leaving the game, he sent out a series of tweets explaining his decision, ESPN reports. "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," he wrote. "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."
He continued, "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 President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem." Trump himself also weighed in on Twitter: "I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen." Added Eric Trump, "Vice President Pence is truly an amazing man! Thank you for standing up for our country and for the respect of our great flag!" Per the Washington Post, the media pool was told Pence may leave the game early; members were kept in vans before the game instead of being taken inside with Pence.