San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid criticized Vice President Pence’s walkout during the 49ers game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Reid, one of the players to kneel with then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem to protest racial inequality last year, told reporters that the Vice President likely knew that players from his team would kneel during the anthem.
“So this looks like a PR stunt to me. He knew our team has had the most players protest. He knew that we were probably going to do it again,” Reid said.
“This is what systemic oppression looks like,” he said about the walkout. “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. Based on the information I have, that’s the assumption I’ve made.”
Vice President Pence walked out of the game after a group of 49ers knelt during the national anthem.
“While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem,” Pence wrote on Twitter. “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.”
“I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.”
From August, the favorable view of the NFL has dropped from 73% to 42% among men between the age of 35-54, according to The Winston Group poll. Football has the highest unfavorable rating out of all major sports.
A Rasmussen poll done at the end of September showed that 34% of people were less likely to watch the NFL because of the national anthem protests.