The leader of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows (R.-N.C.), Tweeted out his backing the decision by Vice President Michael R. Pence to leave the Indianapolis Colts v. San Francisco 49ers game at Lucas Oil Stadium after players on the field did not stand for the National Anthem.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) October 8, 2017
The vice president was at the game with his wife Karen on a trip to his home state, where he was the sitting governor until he was sworn into his current position.
Pence did not attend Saturday’s unveiling of the statue of Peyton Manning, because he was in Las Vegas attending a prayer and unity event. The ceremony did include remarks by David Letterman, the former talk show host and newscaster on Indianapolis’ WLWI-TV.
Shortly after Pence left the stadium he posted this statement:
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 8, 2017
Later, President Donald J. Trump Tweeted his praise for Pence:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2017
Colts players released a joint statement Oct. 1 regarding the movement among NFL players to kneel, sit or stretch out during the National Anthem.
“Our intention was to raise awareness and continue critical conversations about real equality, the injustices against black and brown people, police brutality, respect, unity and equal opportunity. Our players are hurting, our people are hurting, our neighborhoods are hurting and kneeling was a direct response to that hurt,” the players said.
“Some of our players may kneel, while others may stand. But this is just the beginning. There is much work to do, and it will take all of us. Kneeling for JUSTICE. Standing for UNITY. Fighting for EQUALITY. Showing RESPECT. TOGETHER.”
Although, Colts owner Jim Irsay has contributed to both Democrats and Republicans, in 2015 Irsay signals he opposition to Pence signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, legislation giving Indianapolis individuals and businesses conscience protection.
The Colts have always embraced inclusiveness, tolerance, and a diverse fan base. We welcome ALL fans to Colts Nation. ONE FAMILY!
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) March 30, 2015