President Donald Trump has not yet weighed in today’s newly announced NFL’s policy of fining players who refuse to stand on the field during the national anthem. But his NFL Game Walker Outer In Chief, Veep Mike Pence has.
“#Winning,” Pence tweeted in a victory lap:
Pence made headlines last October after making a lot of show about plans to attend a game to honor former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. During the national anthem, about 20 49ers players knelt, backed by teammates who put hands on their shoulders. Colts players, meanwhile, stood with arms locked.
Pence and Mother left the Indianapolis stadium, the Veep issuing a statement: “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.”
Some deemed it political theater, what with reporters following Pence having been told to wait outside the stadium because he might make an early exit.
If so, it was an expensive gesture. Pence and the Second Lady had flown from Las Vegas to Indianapolis to attend, leaving immediately after the anthem and flying back to Los Angeles. CNN reported Air Force 2 alone costs the government about $43K an hour to fly, and the round trip was estimated at nearly five hours.
Pence’s stadium skedaddle was a big news at the time. Trump, wanting to make sure that credit was given where credit was due, took credit for Pence’s gesture.
“I asked @VP Pence to leave the stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country,” Trump tweeted, adding he was “proud” of Pence and Second Lady Karen for following his directive: