The result was a second wave of protests, in which the number of players kneeling or otherwise using the anthem to protest exploded. At the time of the national anthem, a score of players for the San Francisco 49ers, the visiting team, put a knee on the ground.
It led to speculation that the move by Pence was simply an expensive publicity stunt, especially as he was under instructions from the U.S. president, Donald Trump, to leave the game if players took to their knees.
Pence said on Twitter that he left the game because he and President Donald Trump will not dignify any event that disrespects soldiers, the flag or the national anthem. On Sunday, the vice-president of the United States has left a match of american football in response to the attitude of many players who had knelt during the national anthem, the subject of controversy initiated by the american president Donald Trump several weeks ago.More news: Final Justice League trailer nearly gives us the return of Superman
Members of the Colts stood for the anthem with arms linked.
Sharing a statement on Twitter, Pence said: "I stand with @POTUS Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem".
In what appeared to be a gaffe, it emerged that the image Pence had tweeted with his wife Karen at the game had been in fact from 2014. 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.
Pence's gesture adds fuel to a war of words kicked off by the president himself in late September, with an emphasis on nationalist rhetoric and symbolism that plays squarely to the Trump base.