VP Mike Pence: Why I left today's Colts/49ers game

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Vice President Mike Pence left Sunday's NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers after several 49ers knelt during the national anthem.

Here is Pence's official statement on why he left:

"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.

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"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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In a tweet, President Donald Trump said he asked Pence to leave the game if any players kneeled:

These developments came the same day that Colin Kaepernick was quoted as saying he would stand during the national anthem if signed by an NFL team this season. However, CBS, who first reported that news, later clarified that the issue was never discussed with the athlete.

Kaepernick has been out of the league since his contract expired with the 49ers. Last season, the quarterback became a lightning rod for praise and criticism when he announced he would sit, then kneel, during the anthem.