Many on the Left criticized Vice President Mike Pence’s football game walkout as nothing more than a staged political stunt.
Fox News reports that even if it was a stunt, it’s no different than what the NFL players are doing. According to reporter Brit Hume, “People are accusing the vice president of carrying out a stunt. The football players who are kneeling on the field during the anthem, that’s arguably a stunt as well. They have right to protest. I would say the Vice President has the right to counter-protest, which is what happened.”
According to NBC News, Pence attended a game between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers over the weekend. When a dozen or so members of the 49ers knelt during the national anthem, Pence waited till the ceremony was over and then left the stadium.
Later, the White House released a statement quoting Pence 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.”
The statement went on to criticize the NFL players protesting the anthem. “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.”
Trump sent out a tweet shortly after, stating that he’d asked Pence to leave. “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.”
Pence walking out, and the fact that Trump asked him to do so beforehand if players protested, infuriated many. According to CNN, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) compared the event to a “reality show” stunt.
The BBC reported that Eric Reid, a player for the 49ers, said Pence’s actions were oppressive. “This is what systemic oppression looks like. A man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple things out and leaves the game in an attempt to thwart our efforts.”
Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted out the supposed waste of taxpayers dollars: “Don’t let these guys tell you they are fiscal conservatives. This was a multi-million dollar political stunt paid for by taxpayers.”
What’s amusing about the fury over Pence’s walkout is the inherent hypocrisy of it all. Leftists are upset that someone planned a protest before the game as a means of generating media hype and getting attention. It actually sounds an awful lot like what the NFL players have done: planning before the games to protest the national anthem in order to raise awareness to their chosen causes.
The NFL anthem protests are still continuing. Should coaches stop players from protesting?
What’s even more amusing is that Pence protested a game and it offended the Left, yet they have no problem with players disrespecting the country and its military and often criticize the Right for being offended by this lack of patriotism.
And let’s not even get into a Democrat Senator complaining about the supposed waste of taxpayers’ dollars.
It’s also worth noting that if the NFL players had shown the proper respect during the national anthem, Pence would’ve never left. The only reason he left was that the NFL players are continuing to show their lack of patriotism and are disrespecting the sacrifices of the men and women in the military.