INDIANAPOLIS — Vice President Mike Pence left the 49ers-Colts game after about a dozen San Francisco players took a knee during the national anthem Sunday.

Vice President Mike Pence stands during the national anthem before Sunday’s game in Indianapolis. Associated Press/Michael Conroy

The former Indiana governor flew in so he could watch Peyton Manning’s jersey retirement ceremony. Pence didn’t stick around long.

Pence said on Twitter: “I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

The White House also issued a statement from Pence, in which he says Americans should rally around the flag. Pence said: “I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem.”

President Trump later tweeted: “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.”

Pence is a noted sports fan and it was the second major event he’s attended in his home state since January. He also attended May’s Indianapolis 500, a family tradition.

Manning became the first Indianapolis-era player in Colts history to have his number retired. He also was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor.

Pence flew in on Saturday after a statue of Manning was unveiled, an event attended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.


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