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US' Pence departs football game after players kneel

10 Octobre 2017

The former IN governor flew into town so he could watch Peyton Manning's jersey retirement ceremony on Sunday.

The controversy stems from the choice of some players to kneel during the anthem, a silent protest started previous year by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ahead of a game with the Packers to call attention to racial and social injustices.

After leaving the game, he released a statement that said that he and President Trump would not condone any event that shows disrespect to the Flag, National Anthem, or soldiers. He added it was important to rally around the flag and things that unite the country.

The wave of protest has been condemned by the USA right wing and President Trump, who last month urged fans to boycott National Football League games until "players stop disrespecting our flag & country".

49ers safety Eric Reid, who was one of the first to join Colin Kapernick in the demonstrations a year ago, slammed Pence's action, calling it a "PR stunt".

Trump's campaign is fundraising off the controversy, Pence changed his background photo to him standing during the anthem, and Trump said he "asked" Pence to leave if any players protested during the anthem. This is what systemic oppression looks like.

The comments sparked swift backlash from some players, coaches, and owners, many of whom have continued to kneel during the anthem.

Before last Sunday's game, the 49ers took part in a display of unity that included at least 30 players kneeling during the anthem.

"Does anybody know the last time he's [Pence] been to a football game?"

Later, on Twitter, President Trump explained how he had been behind Pence's departure from the Lucas Oil Stadium.

Trump has railed against the form of protest, calling it disrespectful to the flag and to veterans.

Pence, who served as Indiana's governor before being elected Vice President, attended the game in Indianapolis with his wife, Karen. President Donald Trump tweeted after Pence's walkout that he had told his vice president to leave if any players kneeled during the anthem.

The NFL Players Association defended the players' right to protest.

US' Pence departs football game after players kneel