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Vice President Mike Pence was in attendance to watch the Indianapolis Colts versus the San Francisco 49ers game on Sunday, but he then abruptly left.

The reason why he left was to make a comment on the protests during the national anthem that have become popular since President Donald Trump's harsh criticisms. Pence's departure was in response to 23 San Francisco 49ers taking a knee during the national anthem.

On his Twitter account, Pence said neither he nor Trump will “dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem”:

Pence added that protests divide the U.S. at a time when we all should be united. He made it clear players can have their own opinions, but the national anthem gives Americans a chance to honor the country and the American flag:

The national anthem protests were started last season by now-free agent Colin Kaepernick, who was with the 49ers at the time.

Editor's note: This article was updated after publication to remove reference to a CBS tweet about Kaepernick saying he would be willing to stand for the national anthem, if he was signed to a team. CBS has since deleted the tweet and stated that the comment was inaccurate

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