Vice President Pence left Sunday's Colts game after the national anthem because several 49ers players kneeled during the song. As they have for every game since 2016.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sport
On Sunday, the Vice President of the United States of America made a ruckus after very publicly announcing that he left the Colts-49ers game because some players chose to silently protest racial inequality in the United States during the playing of the national anthem.
Forget for a second that once again we have to point out that these protests occur during the national anthem, not against the anthem. And forget for a second that the president and vice president actively discourage (mostly black) Americans from peacefully exercising their first-amendment rights while bending over backwards to allow (mostly white) Americans to fucking kill people at Nazi rallies. These are bad and frustrating things, of course, but as we have learned over the past year and a half, people simply don't care about them. They care about snowflakes and crybabies making a scene and hypocrisy.
Mike Pence, have you met Eric Reid?
Reid, a safety for the 49ers, was one of Colin Kaepernick's teammates who joined him in kneeling during the national anthem back when this first became a national talking point. He has continued to do so this season while also speaking frankly and rationally about why. After yesterday's game, he called the vice president's actions exactly what they were: a publicity stunt. The VP's ignoramus boss admitted as much on Twitter.
Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was ostensibly on hand for a halftime ceremony to honor Peyton Manning. That and the visitors being San Francisco made this perhaps the perfect game to schedule an anti-first amendment walkout. At least one 49ers player has protested during the national anthem in every game since the beginning of last year. No other team has been as vigilant, and no other duo have been as vocal in opposing it as the president and vice president. It was the perfect storm to create a scene, and they did.
Not a single player, mind you, has made a scene, or created a disturbance while using their time to protest. They sit, or kneel, hand on heart, and wait for the song to end and then go about their business. Then this administration fires off tweets or sends out press releases about how bad it is. If asked about it after the game, players often speak intelligently about American history. This administration thinks Frederick Douglass is still alive. Players protesting each week want to bring attention to serious, systemic issues in the country, including racism, a militarized police force setting its sights on people of color, and economic disparity. This administration wants to bring attention to itself.
That's all this was, that's all any of it ever will be. And somehow the players will continue to be criticized for being "me me me" and ungrateful millionaires. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is literally the president and his stooge Mike Pence is second in command.