In a social media post from Sunday afternoon, Vice President Pence said
"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. 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."
"**I stand with @POTUS Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem."
VP Pence was heavily criticized for walking out. Sports columnist Tim Swarens called it "conduct unbecoming a true leader," and a "premeditated political stunt." Leftists have been calling for Pence's resignation.
49ers player Eric Reid stated that "this is what systemic oppression looks like."
President Trump tweeted that he had asked Pence to leave if any players kneeled.
This Sunday marks the second weekend in a row that the 49ers had more than 20 players kneeling during the national anthem with their hands over their hearts. Teammates who stood behind kneeling players had one hand on that player's shoulder and the other over their hearts.
Colts players wore black shirts with the words 'We Will' on the Front, and 'Stand for equality, justice, unity, respect, dialogue, opportunity' on the back. Today marks the second weekend in a row that players have worn the shirts. All stood during the national anthem with their arms locked.
The protest began at the beginning of the fall, 2016 NFL season, when former football player Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem, for what he described as a protest against police brutality and racial injustice.
Since then, players, coaches, and staff from many teams have kneeled or stood with their arms locked together.
President Trump had harsh words for the players at a September 22 rally. He said, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he's fired'."
He also urged fans to walk out of NFL games if they saw it happen in front of them.