San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid eviscerated Vice President Mike Pence’s walk-out of his team’s game against the Indianapolis Colts as a “PR stunt,” saying ““This is what systemic oppression looks like. A man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple of things out and leaves the game with an attempt to thwart our efforts.”
Reid accused the vice president of knowing in advance that players from his team would kneel during the anthem to protest racial equality.
“First of all, does anybody know the last time he went to a football game? With that being said, he tweeted out a three-year-old photo from the Colts game,” Reid told reporters, referring to what appears to be Pence reusing a photo that was originally taken during the 2014 season.
This guy can’t even fake things well pic.twitter.com/fuMI54yJj7
— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) October 8, 2017
Reid continued: “With the information I have, the last time he went to a Colts game was three years ago, so this looks like a PR stunt to me. He knew our team has had the most players protest. He knew we were probably going to do it again. 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. Again, based on the information I have, that’s the assumption that I made.”
Pence quickly walked out of Sunday’s game after roughly 15 49ers players knelt during the national anthem.
— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) October 8, 2017
“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,” Pence said in a statement.
President Trump later tweeted that he had personally asked the vice president to leave the game if he saw any players kneeling.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a top government ethics watchdog group, blasted Vice President Mike Pence for reportedly spending over $250,000 in taxpayer dollars on travel to an Indianapolis Colts game that he quickly walked out of, asking “can we just make it through a weekend without this administration abusing taxpayer dollars with jet travel?!”
Pence and second lady Karen Pence traveled to Indianapolis from Las Vegas for the game Sunday afternoon, then flew to California after the game, according to NBC News reporter Vaughn Hillyard.
CNN reporter Kevin Liptak tweeted Sunday that the aircraft Pence takes can cost over $42,000 an hour to operate. According to his calculations, Pence’s trip could cost taxpayers upwards of $250,000.
Pence's stunt likely cost more than $250,000 at minimum. https://t.co/Y9E9LqvhPG
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 8, 2017
NBC’s Peter Alexander reported that Vice President Mike Pence’s press pool was ordered to wait outside Sunday’s NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers because the vice president had planned to leave early.
“FLAG: Was Pence leaving Colts game a political stunt? Reporters were told to stay in van bc “there may be an early departure from the game,” Alexander tweeted.
FLAG: Was Pence leaving Colts game a political stunt? Reporters were told to stay in van bc "there may be an early departure from the game."
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 8, 2017
“The vice president was just in Las Vegas speaking about the desire for unity in this country,” Alexander noted on MSNBC this afternoon. “Then he flew last night in Indianapolis with the sole purpose of going to this football game… where his team would be playing the San Francisco 49ers, the team where Colin Kaepernick obviously began this entire situation by taking a knee last season during the national anthem.”
“So, Pence went to the game, as soon as he saw someone take a knee, he left,” he continued. “And as we understand right now, he’s already on a plane in route to Los Angeles for a political fundraiser.”
“The president and the vice president had come up with a way that they believe is the best way to communicate this stand,” the NBC reporter remarked. “But it’s obviously a divisive issue, with many people insisting these players deserve their right to free expression.”
“Among the questions right now to be answered is, was this a political stunt as many people suggest?” Alexander added. “And the bottom line is, is the vice president as a government official allowed to use taxpayer money to fly into a place like Indiana for what many people view as a political stunt.”
Watch the video below from MSNBC.