Vice President Mike Pence tried to create a publicity stunt at taxpayer expense on Sunday afternoon by walking out of an NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers after at least 23 players kneeled during the national anthem to protest racial inequality.
But the incident wasn’t as spontaneous as Pence wants you to believe.
Pence issued a flurry of tweets explaining his position and that he stood with President Donald Trump — who had previously called for fans to leave stadiums if they saw players kneeling and for any “son of a bitch” player protesting to be fired.
— Vice President Pence (@VP) October 8, 2017
The backlash on social media against Pence’s stunt was severe, as the vice president was criticized for wasting taxpayer money on a security detail that he did not end up using by walking out before the game despite knowing full well that the protest was going to happen (it’s occurred during nearly every game in some capacity each week of the season).
How many tax dollars went to security at the Colts game today so Mike Pence could walk out when players did what he knew they'd do?
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) October 8, 2017
While Pence tried to appear like he was taking a noble stand, Trump tweeted shortly after the incident that he was behind the calculated stunt the whole time, confirming observers’ theories that the White House intentionally wasted taxpayer money to reiterate its support for bigotry.
“I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen,” Trump tweeted.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2017
Players and teams across the league have defied Trump’s divisive remarks over the protests and have repeatedly said they do not mean to disrespect the flag, servicemembers or the country by simply kneeling for the anthem. Instead, the protests are meant to draw attention to social inequality and police brutality towards people of color.
The choice to kneel was initiated by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and then-teammate Eric Reid.
This article was published reverepress.com