WASHINGTON: US Vice President Mike Pence walked out of an NFL game Sunday after some players kneeled for the national anthem, the latest twist in a running saga over the controversial protests against racial injustice.
Pence said that he departed after seeing players kneel during a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before his home team the Indianapolis Colts hosted the San Francisco 49ers.
"I left today´s Colts game because President (Donald) Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem," Pence wrote on Twitter.
While Colts players stood arm-in-arm for the anthem, more than 20 San Francisco players took a knee.
It was a less organized gesture than the 49ers´ demonstration last week, when 30 players knelt with hands on hearts while teammates stood behind them.
But it should have come as little shock to Pence, an Indiana native who had tweeted his photo in Colts cap and shirt before the game.
"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," Pence tweeted.
"I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem."