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Mike Pence Refuses to Stand for the Unified Korea Team Because It’s Okay When White People Protest Sports Events

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Mike Pence Refuses to Stand for the Unified Korea Team Because It’s Okay When White People Protest Sports Events

Vice President Mike Pence is a Hypocrite

Once upon a time last October, Vice President Mike Pence attended a Colts-49ers game. When the players proceeded kneel during the national anthem (as Pence and the rest of the country knew they would) he stormed out in a huff.

Factoring the cost of air travel to and from Indianapolis, Mike Pence’s move amounted to essentially a $242,500 tantrum over a peaceful protest against police brutality.

“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,” Pence tweeted.

He elaborated in a statement: "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.”

Fast-forward to this Friday, when Pence was at the Olympics opening ceremony. While cold-shouldering the North Korean representatives behind him, Pence made a point to remain seated when the combined North and South Korea entered together. Stone-faced, Pence sat as the rest of the VIP press box and majority of the stadium stood to applaud the joint team of athletes and celebrate a moment of unity. An anonymous White House official confirmed Pence and his wife only stood for the U.S. team. Later, Voice of America revealed Pence chose to sit in the box with North Korean officials instead of Team USA reps — presumably so they’d read his disapproval loud and clear.

If you think it’s ironic that Pence is refusing to stand during a sporting event after making such a big fuss when NFL players elected not to stand, you’re not alone. Since the incident, Twitter has erupted with allegations of hypocrisy.

It’s disrespectful to elect to take a knee if you’re protesting police brutality against black Americans, but fine if you’re a white guy sitting down to demonstrate skepticism of the dream of a unified Korean peninsula.

Pence also bailed on an Olympic dinner where he would have been seated near Kim Yong Nam, North Korea’s ceremonial head of state. Before the games, Pence explained to reporters from the Associated Press that he planned to work to ensure North Korea doesn’t “hijack” the event.  

“We’ll be telling the truth about North Korea at every stop,” Pence said. “We’ll be ensuring that whatever cooperation that’s existing between North and South Korea today on Olympic teams does not cloud the reality of a regime that must continue to be isolated by the world community.”

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