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VP Pence Leaves Football Game After Anthem Protest

  • VOA News

Vice President Mike Pence, second lady Karen Pence, and Major General Courtney P. Carr stand for the singing of the national anthem at Lucas Oil Stadium before the start of the Indianapolis Colts game against the Francisco 49ers, prior to leaving the game, Oct. 8, 2017. (Official White House photo by Myles Cullen)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has walked out of a football game in his home state of Indiana after some of the players knelt during the playing of the national anthem.

The former Indiana governor said on Twitter, "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.''

President Donald Trump tweeted that the walkout was not spontaneous. "I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country," he tweeted.

While Colts players stood arm-in-arm at their home game in Indianapolis, more than 20 of the San Francisco 49ers players knelt during the song as they have for weeks.

Pro football players, mostly African-Americans, have steadfastly said they are kneeling to protest racial injustice and social inequality.

The move began following the deaths of several unarmed African-American men during confrontations with police.