When Vice President Mike Pence briefly attended a regular-season NFL game between the Colts and 49ers and left after the playing of the national anthem in October 2017, it cost taxpayers $325,000, according to documents released by the Department of Homeland Security acquired by the Huffington Post.
Pence departed Lucas Oil Stadium after noticing several Niners players kneeled in protest of racial injustice and police brutality, which had been started by former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
An initial report from CNN estimated that the stunt cost taxpayers $242,000, due to flight expenses. But the Huffington Post asserts that the cost of the the flight was at least $250,000. Additionally, the cost of local law enforcement, an extra ambluance and extra trauma teams at local hospitals, all pushed the cost of Pence's visit to at least $325,000, according to the Huffington Post's report.
Some asserted that Pence's visit, which took place the day Peyton Manning had his number retired by the Colts, was a PR stunt, including Panthers safety Eric Reid, who was on the 49ers at the time. Pence tweeted a photo during the game which depicted him in Colts gear alongside his wife. However it was revealed soon after that the picture was a duplicate of a post from three years before.
President Donald Trump tweeted that he suggested Pence to leave the game if any players protested.