Eric Reid believes Vice President Mike Pence leaving Sunday afternoon's Colts game early was a PR stunt.
San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid believes Vice President Mike Pence leaving Sunday afternoon's Colts game early was a PR stunt.
Pence was told by President Donald Trump to leave the game if any players protested during the national anthem. Pence tweeted that he left Lucas Oil Stadium shortly after the national anthem played. The 49ers had more than 20 players kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner.
Reid was among the players who kneeled. He has been kneeling during the national anthem since his former teammate Colin Kaepernick started protesting to raise awareness of racial injustice in America last season. Kaepernick remains a free agent after opting out of his contract in March.
"This looks like a PR stunt to me," Reid told reporters after the game. "He knew we had the most players protest. He knew that we were probably going to do it again."
"And so, this is what systemic oppression looks like," he added. "A man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple things out and leaves the game, with an attempt to thwart our efforts."
Watch Reid's comments below:
Pence issued the following statement on Twitter:
"“At at time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us,” Pence said in a statement elaborating on his initial tweet. “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. I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.”
Several other politicians believe that the decision to attend and leave the game early was pre-planned.