Ex-Colts player Antonio Cromartie recently revealed that he believes he was cut from the Indianapolis Colts back in 2016 because he took a knee.
Cromartie, now 35-years-old, is not as recognized as Colin Kaepernick, but he believes that he ultimately “paid the same price,” according to Yahoo Sports. Cromartie thoroughly explained the details of his story to Bleacher Report. He said that the Colts head coach, Chuck Pagano, instructed the team not to take a knee during the national anthem. However, Cromartie decided to go against the coach and took a knee during the national anthem of Week 3 and 4 of the season. His reason for doing so was to “call attention” to widespread racial injustice and police brutality, just like Kaepernick. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Cromartie spoke to his family members, who served in the military before he made his decision to protest quietly. While some of them didn’t agree, they told him that they fought for this country for the former NFL player to have the right to kneel.
But after the Colts’ loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars during week 4, Cromartie was asked to come into the facility to meet with Head Coach Pagano. Shortly after, he was told he was being cut from the team. Pagano’s reasoning was because the other defensive players were getting back to good health, and the team no longer needed him. But, of course, Cromartie thought the reason was bogus. That’s when he decided to ask bluntly if the real reason was for him kneeling during the national anthem. However, Pagano refused to substantiate that theory.
After Cromartie was released from the Colts, he had one tryout. Since then, the four-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro has not played in the NFL.
Cromartie said that even though kneeling cost him the opportunity to play Pro, he would do it again. “At the end of the day, the only thing we did was give people a voice that didn’t have a voice,” he stated. “And it brought more attention to what really was going on.”
View Cromartie’s interview with Bleacher Report below.