Mike Pence leaves Indianapolis Colts game after players kneel during national anthem

A tweet from US Vice President Mike Pence at the Colts game

Or maybe it was just an excuse to get out there.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he had asked Mr Pence to leave if players kneeled and said he was "proud of him". Just like that friend that calls you with a fake emergency to get you out of a bad date.

Many franchises have also released statements of support for their players, and a poll has also indicated a majority of Americans disagree with Mr Trump's demand for kneeling players to be fired. Jason La Canfora of CBS said that he was relying on previous reporting about the anthem when he said in a televised report that Kaepernick said he would stand if he played in the National Football League again.

"I stand with President Trump", Pence said in the statement, adding "I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem".

Before Sunday's game, at least 23 49eres players took a knee, while the Colts linked arms.

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence sit in the crowd prior to the start of the national anthem at the NFL football game between the Indiana Colts and the San Francisco 49ers at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

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Former governor of Indiana, Mike Pence had chose to attend the match of the Indianapolis Colts, to pay tribute to the former quarterback star Peyton Manning, who was to be honored at a ceremony Sunday.

The Republican had posted a picture of himself ahead of Sunday's game, stating he was there to honor the career of former quarterback Peyton Manning, whose No. 18 jersey is being retired by the Indianapolis Colts.

The comments sparked swift backlash from some players, coaches, and owners, many of whom have continued to kneel during the anthem.

He said he doesn't think it's too much to ask NFL players to respect the flag and national anthem. They were told by a staffer to the vice president that "there may be an early departure from the game", but were not given any more information.

The first to manifest itself when the national anthem was the former quarterback of the 49ers Colin Kaepernick, who had refused to stand during a game in August 2016, and then had put a knee on the ground at subsequent meetings.

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