Over the weekend, VP Mike Pence used taxpayer money to fly in his private jet from Nevada to Indianapolis—purportedly to “watch” an Indianapolis Colts game. When Pence and his wife observed NFL players respectfully exercising their Constitutional rights to not stand for the National Anthem, they stood up and left the game, with Mr. Pence later tweeting that he would not dignify any event that disrespected the anthem:
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.
— Vice President Pence (@VP) October 8, 2017
Key WH officials have claimed that Pence’s motives were pure—he just wanted to watch the game, and was so shocked and outraged that some of the players chose not to stand for the national anthem that he and his wife felt that they had no choice but to leave. But unless Pence and his wife have been living under a rock for the past couple of months (and we are not ruling that out), there is no way they didn’t know that this would happen. And Mr. Trump sent out a tweet after Pence’s staged “walkout”, claiming that he had asked Pence to leave should anyone happen to choose to kneel during the anthem:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2017
On Monday’s edition of ESPN’s First Take, host Stephen Smith called Trump and Pence out on their ridiculous publicity stunt pulled off on the taxpayers’ dime. According to Smith,Trump has “successfully hijacked” the NFL players’ protest, which was meant to be a call to action against racial injustice and was never about disrespecting our flag or country. Smith went on to state that Trump has latched on to this particular issue because he was shunned by the NFL in the past and wants to punish them for it:
His real agenda is going at the NFL community that didn’t let him in that good old boys club. They didn’t let him in in the 1980s when we was an owner in the USFL. They didn’t let him in when he wanted to purchase the Buffalo Bills in 2014. [H]e has a history that is well documented of exacting retribution against those who oppose him in any way.
Leave it to Trump to take something noble and turn it into a circus that is all about furthering his agenda while punishing those who he imagines have “wronged him.” Someone should tell him that his “little man” complex is showing again.