In a heroic display of patriotism Vice President Mike Pence, along with Second Lady Karen Pence, walked out on the NFL game they intended to attend Sunday afternoon between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers. He channeled his reasoning from President Trump himself with the following statement via Twitter:
“I left today’s Colt’s game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our flag, or our National Anthem.
At a time in which the country needs to heal and unify, by taking a knee these players are choosing the opposite. NFL players that kneel during the National Anthem are claiming to be protesting racism within American police departments; however the National Anthem has never represented any police department. To stand for the National Anthem is to show respect for those whom fought and or died for this country; a country that enables grown men to play a game for millions of dollars.
To expect the Vice President, who is partly charged with protecting the United States, to stay for an event in which people are disrespecting the United States’ Anthem is extremely fool hardy.
There seems to be many people upset with the Vice President for walking out after the “Anthem protest.” But that is precisely what so many of his fellow American have been doing for weeks within their own homes. Prior to players choosing to “take a knee” during the National Anthem, the NFL had an “unfavorable” rating of only 19%, according to The Winston Study. After the protest began, the Winston Study shows an “unfavorable” rating of 47%.
TV ratings have been spiraling downward since Colin Kaepernick influenced this means of protesting during the 2016 season. According to an ESPN survey which included 9,200 sports fans, 26% stated they watch less football due to the National Anthem protest while 24% of those surveyed cited the epidemic of domestic violence that takes place off the field. The NFL has always been able to keep the rash of domestic violence away from the public view, not possible with the National Anthem protest however. With the National Anthem being loved by so many football fans as well as the Vice President, they are left with no choice but to express their own First Amendment right by turning off the television or walking out on the NFL.