Ever since Colin Kaepernick began protesting the national anthem, other NFL players have joined in disrespecting America and the men and women who fought on her behalf.
NFL officials – including Commissioner Roger Goodell – and team executives have expressed support for the players refusing to stand for the national anthem.
But one NFL player just paid a massive price for his protest.
Former Indianapolis Colts cornerback, Antonio Cromartie, knelt and raised his fist in a symbol of black power during the national anthem at a game in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
After a poor game performance with Cromartie benched in the second half, the team released the veteran cornerback.
But not everyone is convinced this was matter of an on-the-field performance.
Cromartie’s wife told the media he was cut because he protested the national anthem.
In a since deleted Instagram post, Thersea Cromatie complained that her husband lost his job because the Colts’ organization decided enough was enough and refused to tolerate anti-American protests.
Colts owner Robert Irsay and Houston Texans owner Bob McNair ripped the protests and said NFL games aren’t the time or place for radical political statements.
USA Today reports:
“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.”
Irsay’s view is undoubtedly shared by other owners who frown on the protests drawing attention from their product. Given the intense backlash against Kaepernick, it’s plausible that people have turned away to protest the protests.
“People come to the game because they want to get away from what’s happening in their everyday lives,” McNair said. “When you bring those types of things into the scene, yeah, it will turn some people off. But the main thing we try to do is to say, ‘We recognize your concern. Let’s do something about it.’ “
Cromartie attempted to defend himself with this Instagram post:
“They say it’s not the right place or venue to do what is right and stand for what is right. I guarantee that most of the people that’s sending me hate messages don’t even know the top 2 members that are leading in this country in homelessness. Well let me educate you. #1 Veterans #2 Children. But you guys care so much about the people that fought for this country. 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. I thank them my grandfather and my friends for their support who also served this country. Some of y’all I have to sit back and pray for, 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. It starts by being honest with yourself, also by not being blind with what’s going on in our communities and our country. I’ve played this game for 11 years and I am grateful for the opportunity the lord and the @chargers gave me back in 2006. #BeAboutChange #teamcromartie”
But fans are fed up with players staging anti-American protests during the national anthem.
Ratings are down 11% for the league, and multiple surveys have found that the number one reason fans give for not watching the games are the protests.
Cromartie’s poor play may have given the Colts the opportunity needed to jettison a player whose actions are turning off fans without inviting a media firestorm.
Do you think more players will pay the price for refusing to stand for the national anthem?
Let us know what you think in the comment section.