Vice President Mike Pence is taking heat on social media for not standing for the North and South Korean teams marching together under a united flag during Friday's Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, tweeted, “Why does Pence hate the opening ceremonies? Oh wait… he’s a using ceremony at a sporting event to protest something else. Where have I seen that before?”
Why does Pence hate the opening ceremonies? Oh wait...he's a using ceremony at a sporting event to protest something else. Where have I seen that before? https://t.co/B9sTboKVa9— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 10, 2018
Murphy wasn't the only one to note Pence had condemned NFL players for kneeling in protest during the national anthem.
Hmmmm...Mike Pence not standing up during a sporting event to protest something? What a hypocrite! So you can do it, but no one else can? https://t.co/d3ZS7lR9l2— William Geiger (@WillGeigerJr) February 11, 2018
This past fall, Pence left an Indianapolis Colts game after players from the San Francisco 49ers knelt during the national anthem. In a tweet afterwards Pence said, “I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will no dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”
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.— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 8, 2017
Others on social media are saying Pence's protest at the Olympics ceremony was a strong stand against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Vice President Mike Pence is getting a prodigious amount of flak for not shaking hands with Kim Jong Un’s Sister and not standing for the United Korean flag. What everyone is neglecting is recall is that Pence only stood for the United States during the ceremony. #Olympics2018— Ryan Harkness (@Ryan_Harkness12) February 11, 2018
At the time, Pence and his wife Karen were seated just in front of Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong. She later extended an invitation for South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit North Korea.
In response, Pence's press secretary, Alyssa Farah, said only, “The Vice President is grateful that President Moon reaffirmed his strong commitment to the global maximum pressure campaign and for his support for continued sanctions.”
And with regard to North Korean media reports referring to what was called Pence's "snobby behavior," an administration official said, “This would be the first time anyone has accused Vice President Pence of being a snob.”