Antonio Cromartie Says Kneeling During National Anthem Ended NFL Career

Antonio Cromartie said the Colts released him after he ignored instructions not to kneel for the National Anthem.

Indianapolis, IN – Former National Football League (NFL) cornerback Antonio Cromartie said he believes his successful 10-year career in professional football ended after he refused to stand for the National Anthem in 2016.

Cromartie joined the Indianapolis Colts on Aug. 22, 2016, according to Rotoworld.

Ten days later, San Francisco 49ers quarter Colin Kaepernick took a knee for the first time during the Star Spangled Banner at the start of a pre-season game in what he called a protest of police brutality.

Cromartie, who holds the record for the longest play in NFL history with a 109-yard return on a missed field goal for the San Diego Chargers against the Minnesota Vikings in 2007, supported Kaepernick’s statement.

But the former cornerback said that the management of the Indianapolis Colts was not of the same mind, USA Today reported.

Cromartie said that then-Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano asked players not to kneel for the National Anthem during a locker room speech before the Week 3 game against the San Diego Chargers, USA Today reported.

“I turned around to some of the guys and I spoke to them, and I’m like, ‘So when it’s about leukemia and your cancer, it’s cool. But when it’s about police brutality and social injustice, it’s not cool,’” he said. “I told Chuck Pagano that. I told him straight up, ‘Man, that’s [expletive].’"

Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012 and was the recipient of visible demonstrations of support from both the team and fans while he underwent treatment, USA Today reported.

“It’s all ‘football is bigger than what is going on the outside,’” Cromartie complained. “No it ain’t. How about respecting the guys that’s getting murdered and killed by police officers? And I’m not saying all police officers is bad. But you get some, they get that little power in they [sic] hand and they abuse that power.”

The four-time Pro Bowl player, who was 32 years old at the time, was cut by the Colts after only four games, Rotoworld reported.

“I can remember me, right before the National Anthem, first time I took a knee,” Cromartie told USA Today. “What’s funny is, two or three of the executive guys were standing behind me and was like, ‘Cro, get up.’ I was like ‘Man, [expletive] y’all, I’m not getting up.’ One person even had a towel to try to block it, you know for nobody wanting to take a picture, but they already had took a picture."

“And then Week 4, we are in London and they came up to me before the game and was like, ‘Hey, Cro, please don’t take a knee,’” he continued. “So it was like, ‘Man, y’all better get out my face. Y’all not fitting to sit here and tell me what I can and cannot do.' I actually got benched that game. I got pulled out at halftime, and didn’t play the second half at all.”

But despite his assertions that he was benched for kneeling, USA Today reported that Cromartie was struggling in London before he was pulled from the game and allowed several big receptions to Jackson Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson.

He said the Colts released him two days later and told him it was because other defensive backs who had previously been sidelined by injuries had gotten healthy.

Cromartie told USA Today that he asked Pagano directly if he had been fired for kneeling but the head coach told him he had been released because the other players were back from injuries and ready to play.

“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 at the time.

Cromartie firmly believes that it was taking a knee during the Star Spangled Banner that ended his career, USA Today reported.

“One hundred percent,” he said. “One hundred percent. It ain’t have nothing to do with my age. It ain’t have nothing to do with my style of play. It was because I took a knee. October 2nd was my last game. I got one workout that whole entire time, and that was by the Saints in 2017.”

The former NFL player also said he doesn’t regret kneeling during the National Anthem despite the fact he received death threats for having done so, according to USA Today.

“Why should I?” Cromartie asked. “'Cause at the end of the day, all we did was give people a voice that didn’t have a voice. And it brought more attention to what really was going on and now everybody’s talking about it. But there’s still no solution because it’s still going on.”

The record-breaking cornerback announced his retirement on March 5, 2018, after no NFL team picked him up for the 2017 season.

Comments (117)
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PatrolandNarc
PatrolandNarc

Who was that?

Asher21
Asher21

And we should care about your whiny hiney statements? most people don't know who the hell are you are and really don't care...

50wt
50wt

The idiot can't see the forest for the trees. Your boss says do it, you do it. But if you talk back and are black you change it to something else. We call that a diversion tactic, point the finger somewhere else to get the heat off you. If he don't like standing for the Flag, he is free to go to any country he feels safe in.

ACSO-Charles-One
ACSO-Charles-One

Dude, I am paying your fucking salary and on my time if I want you to wear pink Nikes during the game you will wear pink Nikes. If I tell you not to kneel on my dime you will not kneel or you are fired. Go kneel on your own time while you are watching some baseball game.

Bobholly79
Bobholly79

See ya!!

POS NOW PACK YOUR BAGS AND TAKE THE NEXT FLIGHT OUT OF THE COUNTRY YOU HATE

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Right now he should be thanking Trump that there are more black people employed in America than ever before! McDonalds might not pay as well, but I'm sure he will fit right in and mind his manners this time.

Badge204
Badge204

It is just like police officers who get paid a salary. You get paid for the job you do. You mouth off to your bosses you lose that job. Who cares you lost. The one who wrote this story. You are what is typical in news media today. The freedom of the press equals IRRESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM.

ikaika
ikaika

Maybe whatever college this asshole went to will allow him to come back and teach English.

Sworn to Serve
Sworn to Serve

Looks like you made a career choice you POS. Maybe Kaperdick can get you a job selling shoes.

Deadeye321
Deadeye321

I haven't watched an NFL game since the London game. I'm retired military and these wanna be leaders who are not out in the communities stopping all the senseless killing while making millions. Don't need the NFL

Anomie88
Anomie88

No, you just suck as a player like the San Fran loser, what's his name. Oh well, its not important.

Mpatt28
Mpatt28

Speaking of abuse of power... you told some execs who were trying to “help” you ...[expletive] ya’ll, I’m not getting up...and when asked not to do it at a second game you said ya’ll better not tell me what to do? AND YOU DIDN’T EXPECT TO GET FIRED? that’s because you thought your shit didn’t stink! Guess what? It does!

YOWHIP
YOWHIP

Stand for the flag , take a knee to pray

Medic1980
Medic1980

He and Kapernick can have a pity party together, and share some WHINE.

MajScallywag
MajScallywag

What about the video showing him crying 😢? Actions have consequences, asshole. Run out now and sign up for welfare and food stamps.

HonorYourHeroes
HonorYourHeroes

Finally, a traitor gets what he deserves. He can kiss his mansion and shit good bye!

Retpo2005
Retpo2005

I can see why this idiot thought he was going to get away with it because it was for a cause well the cause is not paying for your 12 children you had with 10 baby mothers and the bills either he had a reality show too but the cause was cancel.

beyondpissedoff
beyondpissedoff

14 (claimed)kids from 8 different women, some of which were conceived after he (allegedly)had a vasectomy. Someone is lying here. Now that he has "retired" that gives him more time to go out and do what he does best, BREED! Add some more to his $336,00.00 in annual in child support.

Chaud Caliente
Chaud Caliente

Cro-who-tie?

Fücķ Cromartie. He's a spoiled, insolent child acting up in a man's world. NOBODY just gets to do whatever they want, wherever they want.

He says in the article, ...

"two or three of the executive guys were standing behind me and was like, ‘Cro, get up.’ I was like ‘Man, [expletive] y’all, I’m not getting up.’"

It's clear that the executives were trying not to have to fire him. It's not like they set a trap for him and then gleefully reacted when he fell into it. The WANTED him to succeed but he just couldn't get over himself.

How many of you reading this, while at work can just tell the executives at your company,

"‘Man, [expletive] y’all, I’m not... <doing what you ask>!"

and not get fired as hell?

dcoskrey
dcoskrey

Is there maybe a ghetto-to-English translator I can run this article through?

JDS
JDS

He got fired for sucking. Now, he is stupid and completely useless to society.

Helloauntb
Helloauntb

Could be the “F U” you hurled at the wrong people that got your narcissistic butt fired. My son has a college education and puts on a badge and gun to go to work every day to protect jackasses like you from harm. If he spouted FU to people like you who are cursing him and spitting in his face then he would get fired too. Fortunately most of the public appreciates it when they call for help and he shows up and that’s the only reason he continues to do the job.

MFLindsey
MFLindsey

Why is the conversation NEVER about getting people to stop breaking laws and attacking law enforcement???

TangoTango
TangoTango

It ain’t have nothin’ to do wiff dis and it ain’t have nothin’ to do wiff dat, but y’all knows.....

IT JUST MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE FACT YOU AND KAPERNICK ARE TOO IGNORANT TO KNOW THE NATIONAL ANTHEM HAS NEVER BEEN ABOUT ANY POLICE DEPARTMENT OR THEIR OFFICERS!!!!

When they took a knee during the Anthem to make a social point, they were spitting in the face of all who served or are now serving in the Military of our Country!!!!

Well, when you saw all those empty seats in NFL stadiums, the only people responsible for those empty seats are those players who chose to disrespect the Flag, the National Anthem and all the Veterans who ever served under the US Flag by taking a knee or refusing to come out of their locker room during the Anthem!!!! I am only one person, but I am one Disabled Veteran and Above Knee Amputee, who became so disgusted by these idiots being paid millions of dollars to play a game and they just spit on the graves of every Veteran who ever died in combat, fighting for what some ignorant fools in football uniforms call their right to expression!!!!

I say the fact it cost them their career is a small hint of justice!!!! Now, since they cannot seem to stand behind our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen, perhaps we need to send them over to stand IN FRONT OF OUR TROOPS!!!!!

ChiefC
ChiefC

Bye Bye you left wing liberal progressive socialist America hating democrat

Pacific Star
Pacific Star

Dear Antonio, You tell an administrator to "F" off and get out of your face, and then you wonder why you don't have a job?

Somewhere you apparently had your common sense knocked out of you, probably during a game. They pay the bills, not you. Your right to free speech is meant to protect you from the government, not your boss. You are paid to entertain the masses and you do that while representing the team. If the team managers think that your actions are going to hurt their bottom line, they owe it to the owners to fire you.

Tomkcr
Tomkcr

You work for a company/team and you follow their orders(unless it is to commit some crime) and if you don't, they have the right to fire you. And his poor attitude stopped other teams from wanting to deal with his crap.

skipk1962
skipk1962

The NFL needs FOOTBALL PLAYERS not social justice warriors. Play football, get paid to play football, then in your off time, you can practice for your new career--no different than any other JOB!

Musicray
Musicray

No empathy here.. should have done it on his own time.. I bet there’s more to it.. they might just wanted an excuse to can him...

Kiess60
Kiess60

You had options. You chose poorly. You knew the consequences. Now you play victim just short of the race card. Thing is your talent doesn't out weigh your distraction or you would be playing for a new team. Now go trap in front of your grandma house and finance your rap career.

MCPAA119
MCPAA119

YAY! It shouldn't take an order from a team owner to require you to kneel. That shows no respect, only that you want to keep your big money job.

Philo61
Philo61

Another worthless thug who disrespected our veterans....Glad they fired him!

papasmurf73
papasmurf73

You definitely made the wrong choice. You were warned and failed to heed the warning. Any person that follows such an fool as Colin K. should receive the same treatment. He is wrong and always will be wrong and those that choose to follow him deserve whatever they get. You made a choice now you will have to live with it.

Sonny12345
Sonny12345

Now he has time to spend with his 25 kids by 25 women and maybe even memorize their names. It might be 47 kids by now... AC face is in the dictionary next to the word Nagger

CalamityJane
CalamityJane

Disrespecting our flag, our Veterans, and our country has diddly to do with police brutality. You had a chance to make a difference, and you blew it. You could have started a program to teach at risk youths how to deal with law enforcement. You could have sponsored a local law enforcement outreach program to foster better relationships between law enforcement and the community. In stead you decided to be a disrespectful hood rat. You got what you deserved.

Grandmoi
Grandmoi

Gosh..now he has all the time in the world to get in those inner cities and teach the teen agers not to attack the police...yay...

Fsleeper
Fsleeper

So den Ibe continuin to sound like a stupid #@$& so me n my boyz says since we cants discern me some right from wrong or make sense in our thoughts so we saying #@$& ya'll bosses, we took a knee and sheeeet, muther end up firin me. That be racist man...