Antonio Cromartie released by Colts over national anthem protest, wife says
Antonio Cromartie’s wife says her husband was cut by the Colts because of his decision to kneel during the national anthem.
In an Instagram post Thursday that has since been deleted, Terricka Cromartie responded to recent comments from Colts owner Jim Irsay regarding players protesting the anthem. She said her husband was told not to kneel and decided to anyway, leading to his release on Oct. 4.
Cromartie was among a wave of NFL players following the lead of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, continuing to protest racial injustice and police brutality before games.
Her comments were as follows, according to ESPN:
“You are Nothing More than an Entertainer. Just Shut and do what we say. You have No rights as along as you are working for me.. there are other places for you to fight and stand for what you believe.
“One things for sure I know my husband was told Not to take a Knee and he went with his heart and he took one. And that cost him his Job.. and Clearly this Statement backs that up... Just a Paid To put on a show.”
Cromartie, still a free agent, wrote a post on Instagram on Thursday that appeared to be in reference to the situation.
They say it's not the right place or venue to do what is right and stand for what is right. I guarantee that most of the people that's sending me hate messages don't even know the top 2 members that are leading in this country in homelessness. Well let me educate you. #1 Veterans #2 Children. But you guys care so much about the people that fought for this country. It's crazy while I was Indiana I had a chance to talk to some veterans that didn't have a problem with me taking a knee. Because they understood my reason behind it. I thank them my grandfather and my friends for their support who also served this country. Some of y'all I have to sit back and pray for, Because right now with everything that's going on in this country and with these two idiots making the presidential debate a reality show and a joke and it's sad. I pray that we make a change for the better. It starts by being honest with yourself, also by not being blind with what's going on in our communities and our country. I've played this game for 11 years and I am grateful for the opportunity the lord and the @chargers gave me back in 2006. #BeAboutChange #teamcromartie
Earlier this week, Irsay suggested the players’ protests was hurting the NFL’s product.
“It hasn't been a positive thing,” Irsay said. “What we all have to be aware of as players, owners, PR people, equipment managers, is when the lights go on we are entertainment. We are being paid to put on a show. There are other places to express yourself.”
Cromartie was starting at cornerback for the Colts, and his release was labeled a football decision by head coach Chuck Pagano. Cromartie protested before his final two games with the franchise, which came as the Colts returned healthy players including top corner Vontae Davis to their secondary. He wrote another Instagram post after his release that expressed no ill will toward the franchise.