Dem senator criticizes Pence for not standing for Korean team at Olympics

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.) on Saturday criticized Vice President Pence after news outlets reported that Pence refused to stand for the entrance of the combined Korea team at the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

In a tweet, Murphy likened Pence's refusal to stand for the team representing athletes from both North and South Korea to both Pence and President Trump's opposition to NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem before football games.

"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?" Murphy tweeted.

Pence left an Indianapolis Colts game that he was attending last year after players from the opposing San Francisco 49ers knelt in protest during the national anthem. His departure sparked criticism from NFL players and Democrats.

"I left today's Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem," Pence said in a statement at the time.

"At a time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us."

Trump sparked a feud with the football league in September when he called on NFL team owners to fire players who protested during the anthem, a move that triggered dozens more protests from players across the country.

The 2018 Winter Olympics, held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, have sparked a new wave of cooperation between North and South Korea, prompting the two countries to sponsor a joint Olympics team for the first time.

Cooperation brought on by the Olympic Games has also reportedly triggered the first invitation from North Korea for diplomatic talks between the two nations in more than a decade.