Indianapolis sports columnist: Pence used Colts to stage political stunt – The Hill
An Indianapolis sports columnist accused Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceDems face close polls in must-win Virginia Report: Trump administration officials urged furious Tillerson not to quit Authorities recover 47 firearms in connection with Las Vegas shooter MORE of using a Colts game to stage a political event after Pence walked out of the game over football players kneeling during the national anthem.
Gregg Doyel wrote in a column for the Indianapolis Star that Pence had staged the walk-out as the Colts played against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday and that “Pence knew” players would be kneeling.
“What, you think he didn’t know the 49ers would kneel on Sunday? Pence knew. The 49ers are the one franchise, the only franchise, that have had at least one player kneel before every game since Colin Kaepernick was the first to do it in the 2016 preseason,” Doyel wrote. “Kaepernick played for the 49ers, of course.”
Doyel also noted that reporters following Pence were told to stay in a van outside the game “because Pence wouldn’t be there long.”
NBC News reporter Vaughn Hillyard, one of the pool reporters with Pence, tweeted that reporters were told to stay in a van outside the game because Pence “may depart the game early.”
As media pool has been made aware, a staffer told pool that VPOTUS may depart the game early. Did not indicate how early. https://t.co/G1f2WljJAW
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) October 8, 2017
The columnist also questioned how much in taxpayer money was spent on the political stunt.
“He traveled here with his usual contingent of aides and bodyguards, and he didn’t fly standby on Delta. Chew on that for just a minute,” Doyel wrote.
Pence tweeted Sunday that he left the game after seeing NFL players kneel during the anthem.
I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.
— Vice President Pence (@VP) October 8, 2017
President Trump later tweeted that he had asked Pence to leave the stadium “if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2017
Pence’s early departure came after Trump began attacking NFL players who kneel during the anthem last month. He said any player that kneels is a “son of a bitch” and said owners should fire any players that take part in the demonstration.
Trump also called for people to walk out of NFL games if they saw any protestors kneeling.