Two weeks ago, the Indianapolis Colts made a pair of roster moves to shake things up and send a message to the rest of the team. Antonio Cromartie and Sio Moore were both cut after having started that last Sunday.
On Wednesday, Cromartie’s wife, Terricka Cason, posted on Instagram saying that her husband lost his job because of his national anthem protest. Since then, her account has since been set to private. His protest had started two weeks before he was cut.
This came in response to Colts owner Jim Irsay speaking with USA Today, where he expressed that he felt the anthem protests had to do with failing ratings in the NFL this season:
“I think it’s the wrong venue. 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.”
Up until Week 4, Cromartie had played well, but he had a disastrous performance, and was benched in the second half in the Colts’ game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In that time, the Colts were also expecting two veteran starters to come back in Patrick Robinson and Darius Butler. Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis suffered an ankle injury in the preseason, which is essentially the reason why Cromartie was signed.
Colts tight end Dwayne Allen received criticism for kneeling to pray after the national anthem, when it was noticed during the team’s Sunday night game against the Texans. Many took his action as an act of protest, but he’s been praying after the anthem for years. Allen defended himself, and defended those who do protest.
Allen also defended Cromartie when he protested. He told IndyStar, “We support all of our players in peaceful protesting.” The move to cut the 32-year-old could have absolutely been a football decision like the team said. But with Cason’s comment, “I know my husband was told not to take a knee,” it definitely brings things into question.
Neither Cromartie nor the Colts have commented on the situation.