Did Pence Walk Out On The 49ers For Campaign Cash?

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Vice President Mike Pence walked out on a 49ers game because players took a knee during the national anthem, but was there anything else to that public stunt?

close-up of Trump and Pence next to each other with Trump's mouth slightly open

We all know President Donald Trump loves being the center of the media spotlight, but is Vice President Mike Pence capable of cheap tricks to capture attention, too? More information is revealing that his NFL game walkout wasn't just a political stunt but possibly a campaign ploy. 

Pence left the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday after a dozen 49ers players took a knee during the national anthem. The stunt cost American taxpayers nearly $250,000, but it seems Pence's act could have had a sly financial incentive.

According to Raw Story, Trump’s 2020 campaign wasted no time, sending an email Monday that asked supporters to donate in light of Pence’s walkout.

In the fundraising email, the Trump campaign made it clear why the vice president was so eager to appear upset at the players, even though he probably already knew they were going to kneel.

“Yesterday members of the San Francisco 49ers took a knee during our National Anthem,” the Trump 2020 campaign email read. “Their stunt showed the world that they don’t believe our flag is worth standing for. But your Vice President REFUSED to dignify their disrespect for our anthem, our flag, and the many brave soldiers who have died for their freedoms.”

In order to help their cause, the email continued, supporters are urged to donate $5 or more, after which the campaign will send them “I STAND FOR THE FLAG” stickers in the mail.

In other words, this entire show of phony — and expensive — outrage was meant not just as a political stunt but a fundraising stunt as well. 

As players take the kneeling protest seriously, raising awareness to police brutality, the drug war, and the fact that most of the victims of these crises are people of color, Pence and Trump make fools of themselves by ignoring the underlying issues behind these demonstrations. As a result, they show us all they truly couldn’t care less about institutionalized racism. Shocker.

It’s abundantly clear that the Trump administration isn't even trying to pretend anymore that they care about the plight of minorities in this country. Instead, they are making a mockery of the pain of countless Americans across the United States by using them as a means to raise campaign cash.

Quite sick, to say the least.

Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

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