The Indianapolis Colts released veteran cornerback Antonio Cromartie on October 4, two days after the team lost to the Jaguars in London. During the national anthem, Cromartie took a knee and raised his fist, just as he did the week before when the Colts played the Chargers. After Colts owner Jim Irsay made comments to the effect of “Shut up and do your job, you’re an entertainer, not a person,” Terricka Cromartie, Antonio’s wife, shot back and claimed that Irsay cut Antonio because of his protest.
Here’s what Irsay said at the NFL owners meeting this week:
“I think it’s the wrong venue,” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told USA TODAY Sports. “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 a now-deleted post, Terricka responded to Irsay’s comments, via ESPN:
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.
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.
And here is a post from Antonio, which isn’t exactly a direct response to Irsay, but concerns his protest and the fallout:
It’s worth pointing out that Cromartie, who was a Pro Bowler three seasons ago, was not very good in his first four games this year. He was benched halfway through the Jaguars game, and the team only signed him because of a spate of injuries before the season started. Because they team is healthier, it’s plausible that he was deemed expandable entirely for football reasons.
However, Jim Irsay is a dick, so who knows.