The Rev. Franklin Graham praised Vice President Mike Pence for walking out of the Indianapolis Colts vs. San Francisco 49ers NFL game in Indiana on Sunday to protest players choosing to kneel while the U.S. anthem played.
“Three cheers for Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen for walking out!” Graham wrote Sunday on Facebook. “I appreciate that our Vice President has a high standard, and I wish the NFL owners would follow his example.”
Pence explained his actions on Twitter, writing: “I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our 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 added.
Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and of relief group Samaritan’s Purse, urged Americans who agree with the decision to let Pence know they “appreciate the strong message this sends.”
Numerous football players, along with U.S. athletes from other sports, have been choosing to kneel instead of stand for the U.S. anthem at games, in protest against police violence in America.
Trump and other conservatives have criticized such protests for being unpatriotic, however, with the president even suggesting that NFL owners should fire players who continue refusing to stand for the anthem.
Trump revealed in a Twitter message that it was he who asked Pence to leave the NFL game.
“I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen,” the president explained.
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SOURCE: Stoyan Zaimov