Vice President Mike Pence walked out of a pro football game at Indianapolis when a dozen of the members of the San Francisco team dropped to their knees when the national anthem was played. He said he will not dignify any event that shows disrespect for “our soldiers, our flag or our national anthem.”

Gov. Eric Greitens said the American flag “brings real patriots to their feet, not their knees.” The former Navy SEAL said he was taught to respect the flag and describes those who refuse to stand as “selfish,” saying they are making the moment about them.

Other Republican elected officials have spoken about the disrespect being shown by some pro football players. We haven’t heard or read much about high-ranking Democratic Party members speaking out on this issue.

The kneeling is a protest statement against the killings of black men by police, regardless of what investigations have found in these cases. In the majority of the cases, the black men were suspects in crimes and in some, the men who were shot, were aggressive toward the police officer.

It is very disgusting to military veterans to see the kneeling by these millionaire football players. What have the kneelers ever done for this country? What sacrifices have they made for their country? Under the American flag, they have enjoyed freedoms denied to so many people in other countries. At a young age they have reaped countless benefits and wealth.

It is not only veterans who feel disgust toward the players. The general public has looked upon their kneeling acts as unpatriotic and the highest level of disrespect toward their country.

Reports say attendance is down for National Football League teams’ games. It is widely known that the television audience for their games is on the decline. The kneeling has a role in the decline of pro football. A general boycott of their games hasn’t occurred yet, but if the acts of disrespect continue, it’s going to happen.

The kneeling players are adding to the divide in this country.