Antonio Cromartie, Indianapolis Colts cornerback, refused to stand for the National Anthem on Sunday, taking a knee instead. And on Tuesday, the Colts player was officially released from the NFL team.
While in London playing on Sunday, Cromartie took a knee while raising a black-power fist while the Star Spangled Banner played. The NFL cornerback then rose to his feet as England played their national anthem, ‘God Save the Queen’.
In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, Cromartie explained his reasoning for not standing: “Everyone wants to say all lives matter, but until black lives start to matter, all lives don’t matter. That’s what people need to start looking at. When you take a knee, you’re talking about everything that goes on in this country.”
Cromartie’s playing ability on the field primarily led to his release, however his antics likely made it an easy decision for the coaching staff.
“The four-time Pro Bowler struggled throughout and his play with the Colts was summed up by one series during their Week 4 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in London,” ESPN’s Mike Wells writes. “Cromartie was beaten twice and called for two penalties on a drive where the Jaguars managed to get a field goal as the first half came to an end. Cromartie was benched in favor of Rashaan Melvin in the second half.”
Cromartie taking a knee in London was not his first refusal to honor America’s National Anthem. Cromartie also took a knee for the anthem and raised his first before playing against the San Diego Chargers at Lucas Oil Stadium a week ago Sunday. His actions then resulted in no repercussions.
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