When the Indianapolis Colts cut Antonio Cromartie on Oct. 4, his wife shared that his second national anthem protest was likely to blame.
The New York Post reported the cornerback first took a knee and raised his fist on Sept. 25. During Cromartie’s third game with the Colts, they beat the San Diego Chargers 26-22. His second and last protest came in his final game on Oct. 2. The match resulted in a loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-30.
Throughout the season, 32-year-old Cromartie did not perform well, according to Yahoo. Upon signing with the Colts following his stint with the New York Jets and becoming a free agent, the NFLer was simply viewed as a replacement for injured players.
However, the fact that Cromartie lost his job two days after his latest demonstration was something his wife Terricka Cromartie took issue with.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, she shared a quote by Colts owner Jim Irsay disapproving of the protest begun by Colin Kaepernick.
“I think it’s the wrong venue,” Irsay told 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.”
In response, Terricka Cromartie shared her disappointment over the remarks.
“You are nothing more than an entertainer. Just shut up and do what we say,” she interpreted Irsay’s message as saying.
“One thing’s for sure,” she continued. “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.”
Antonio followed Terricka’s post with his own message also speaking out about Irsay’s words.
“They say it’s not the right place or venue to do what is right and stand for what is right,” Antonio began on Instagram. “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.”
“Some of y’all I have to sit back and pray for,” he continued. “Because right now with everything that’s going on in this country and with these two idiots making the presidential debate a reality show and a joke and it’s sad. I pray that we make a change for the better.”
Antonio wrapped his post by expressing gratitude for enjoying an 11-year football career. The athlete got his NFL start once he signed with the Charges a decade ago.