San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid was none too pleased about Vice President Mike Pence walking out of the 49ers-Colts game on Sunday after seeing players take a knee during the national anthem.
Reid went so far as to call Pence’s leaving a “PR stunt” and an example of what “systemic oppression looks like.”
“This looks like a PR stunt to me. He knew we had the most players protest. He knew that we were probably going to do it again,” he said. “And so, this is what systemic oppression looks like. A man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple things out and leaves the game, with an attempt to thwart our efforts.”
President Trump did explain on Twitter that he did instruct Pence to leave if any players protested during the national anthem.
“I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen,” he tweeted.
Earlier Sunday, Pence tweeted a statement explaining why he decided to leave the game.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Photos snapped on the sideline showed the 49ers players demonstrating during the anthem.