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Pence's rebuke of anthem protest was 'systemic oppression' and a 'PR stunt,' 49ers player says
San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (left) took a knee during the national anthem last season with then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Reid called out Vice President Mike Pence's rebuke of NFL players protesting during the national anthem Sunday in Indianapolis. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Pence's rebuke of anthem protest was 'systemic oppression' and a 'PR stunt,' 49ers player says

Vice President Mike Pence's rebuke of the NFL players' national anthem protest was "systemic oppression" and a "PR stunt," San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid said.

Pence, a former Indiana governor, exited the Sunday game between the Indianapolis Colts and the visiting 49ers shortly after the anthem, noting on Twitter he did so "because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem."

Several 49ers took a knee, Yahoo Sports reported, while none of the Colts players did so.

The injured Reid — who last season took a knee with then-teammate Colin Kaepernick and has continued to protest, the outlet said — ripped Pence after the game, which the 49ers lost 26-23 in overtime.

He called the vice president "a man with power" who attempted to "thwart" the "efforts" of protesting players:

My honest reaction ... does anybody know the last time he’s been to a football game? OK, with that being said, he tweeted out a 3-year-old photo of him at a Colts game, so with the information that I have, the last time he's been 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 that we were probably going to do it again. ... 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’ve made.

What else did Reid say?

“It’s really disheartening when … the vice president of the United States is trying to confuse the message that we’re trying to put out there,” Reid said, Yahoo Sports reported. “This is about systemic oppression that has been rampant in this country decades upon decades. And I will continue to encourage people to educate themselves on how we got to where we are today, because it didn’t happen overnight and it’s not going to happen overnight to fix these issues. So we’re going to keep talking about it.”

What else was reported about Pence?

The Yahoo Sports piece added, "It’s since become clear that the early exit was little more than a political publicity stunt."

The outlet's final paragraph reads:

It’s a fair assumption that it was little more than an attention-seeking act. Pence was in Las Vegas on Saturday night, flew to Indianapolis and went to the game, which kicked off at 1 p.m. ET. Because of Pence’s presence, fans were subjected to extra security and traffic around the stadium before the game was heavier than usual. All of that, and Pence left to fly to a previously scheduled appearance at a fundraiser in Los Angeles just a few minutes into the game.

The fundraiser is taking place Monday in Newport Beach, KCBS-TV reported.

(H/T: IJR)

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Dave Urbanski

Dave Urbanski

Sr. Editor, News

Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@DaveVUrbanski →