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Vice President Mike Pence Leaves Colts Game Due to National Anthem Protests

Mike Pence left the Colts game after San Francisco 49ers players knelt during the national anthem. 

Vice President Mike Pence was in attendance during Sunday's Indianapolis Colts game against the San Francisco 49ers for a short period of time before leaving after the national anthem.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he asked Pence to leave the stadium if any players kneeled.

About 20 members of the San Francisco 49ers knelt during the national anthem.

Pence tweeted: "I left today's Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem. At a 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. 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."

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President Donald Trump has been very vocal about the national anthem protests and believes players should be punished for kneeling and that fans should boycott the league. Pence agreed with Trump.

Pence's visit was a quick stop on his way to California for a trip focused on tax reform. He was in Las Vegas on Saturday for a prayer walk in memory of the victims of last week's fatal concert shooting.

According to Vaughn Hillyard of NBC News, the media pool was kept in vans ahead of the game instead of heading into the game with the vice president. The media pool was made aware that a staffer told the pool that Vice President Pence may depart the game early but did not indicate how early.

The Colts retired former quarterback Peyton Manning's No. 18 jersey. In 2013, Pence issued a proclamation declaring "Welcome Back #18 Day" when Manning was a member of the Broncos and returned to play his former team.