When the Indianapolis Colts played host to the San Fransisco 49ers Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, were in attendance to watch future Hall of Fame Quarterback and NFL great Peyton Manning have his jersey retired. Pence, a long-time Colts fan, was excited to be at the event, however, the mood quickly soured when nearly two dozen 49ers players kneeled for the National Anthem.
Following the protest Pence and his wife exited the facility, and later made the following statement.
“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…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.”
While many sports analysts and media outlets called the act staged and inappropriate, the NFL seems to agree with Pence and President Trump to an extent, as new talks have surfaced indicating the NFL may create a policy making it mandatory for players to stand. This new policy discussion comes on the tails of severe dips in NFL ratings and a chink in their once sterling reputation as the country’s premier sports league. Just this past week several NFL owners, including Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, informed their players that they must stand for the national anthem.