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SAN FRANCISCO 49ers safety Eric Reid slammed United States Vice-President Mike Pence on Sunday for his failed “PR stunt” of walking out of the stadium after the US national anthem.
Pence showed up for the game between the Indiana Colts and the 49ers but left after kick-off, due to 49ers players kneeling during the US national anthem.
The walkout drew mass criticism, especially after president Donald Trump tweeted that he told Pence to leave “if any players kneeled,” and raised the question of whether Pence’s actions had been planned in advance.
For Reid, it was a sign of “systemic oppression.”
“He knew our team has had the most players protest, he knew that we were probably going to do it again,” Reid said. “This is what systemic oppression looks like: man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple things out and leaves the game in an attempt to thwart our efforts.”
The 49ers have been among the most visible protesters in the league. Last year, former quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement to kneel or sit during the anthem, and Reid and other teammates backed him up on and off the field.
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