When Vice President Mike Pence left last season's 49ers-Colts game in Indianapolis before kickoff after players kneeled during the "The Star-Spangled Banner" to protest racial inequality, the trip cost over $325,000, according to documents obtained by the Huffington Post.
The Secret Service released documents Friday, showing that expenses for Pence's trip -- "hotels, travel, and additional security measures," per the Huffington Post -- cost over $75,000. Last year, the Washington Post reported Air Force Two costs about $43,000 per hour to operate, meaning the cost of the flight alone was $250,000.
The cost breakdown, was as follows:
- Hotel rooms: $64,637.88
- Travel expenses: $8,877.91
- Temporary walkways: $2,368
In a statement, Pence said he left the game on Oct. 8, 2017, because he did not want to "dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem." Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, one of 23 San Francisco players to kneel during the anthem that day, told reporters it "[looked] like a PR stunt to me."
"He knew our team had the most players protest," Reid said that day. "He knew that we were probably going to do to it again. This is what systemic oppression looks like. A man with power comes to a game, he tweets a couple things out and leaves the game with an attempt to thwart our efforts.”
Documents showed the temporary walkways were ordered the Friday before the game, the Huffington Post reported. A Mike Pence aide told CNN last October that the trip was planned "for several weeks."