Antonio Cromartie was recently cut by the Indianapolis Colts. He just so happened to also be the only Colts player to kneel during the national anthem.
Earlier this week, Colts owner Jim Irsay made a statement about the national anthem protests in the NFL that could lead us to surmise that Cromartie was cut in part for partaking in said protest.
This is something that Cromartie’s wife believes to be the truth.
You can judge for yourself whether or not you believe Irsay’s recent comments have anything to do with it.
“I think it’s the wrong venue,” Irsay said, per Jarrett Bell of USA Today. “It hasn’t been a positive thing. 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.”
While not naming Irsay specifically, Cromartie made his own statement via his Instagram account.
“They say it’s not the right place or venue to do what is right and stand for what is right,” Cromartie wrote. “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.”
Clearly, Irsay and his former player have a different idea about what is acceptable when using the NFL stage.
Just as clear is the fact that Cromartie is passionate about raising awareness about people who are suffering in the United States of America. Right venue or not, the message he and others, like Colin Kaepernick, are spreading is one many feels should be embraced, rather than excoriated.