Antonio Cromartie's wife Terricka is claiming that the Colts cut her husband earlier this NFL season after he took a knee in protest during the national anthem prior to a Week 4 game against the Jaguars in London. He also did it during Colts' Week 3 game against the Chargers.
Terricka's accusation was posted on Instagram shortly after remarks were made by Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay about NFL players who have chosen to protest during the national anthem. Irsay said that NFL games are the "wrong venue" to protest at. He made his comments this past week at the NFL owners meetings in Houston when he was asked about the protests. "It hasn't been a positive thing," he 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."
Terricka's Instagram post has since been deleted, and her Instagram account has been made private. But this is what she said in the post she put up:
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... Smh Maybe I read something different.. 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.. SMH
So did a protest really cost Cromartie his job? When he was cut on Oct. 4, it did come as a bit of a surprise, seeing as how the Colts have struggled on the defensive side of the ball. But at the time, head coach Chuck Pagano said that all personnel decisions that were being made were based solely on performance on the field. "I've said it before and I will say it again, every decision that we make as far as our roster goes and this team goes, is based on two things—what is best for this team and what gives us the best chance to win," Pagano said.
Indianapolis Star reporter Stephen Holder also sent out several tweets on Thursday that suggested that Cromartie was released for football reasons and not for his protests:
But regardless of why he was released, there's a good chance Cromartie has played his final game in the NFL. The 14-year veteran was signed by the Colts just before the start of the current season, and unless another team finds itself in trouble because of an injury, he likely won't be back on the football field this year.