We haven’t heard from Antonio Cromartie in a while, and we probably wouldn’t have now if he wasn’t promoting a new reality television show.
But the longtime NFL cornerback says that the reason he’s not playing this year is because of his protest during the national anthem last year.
“I’m not going to say ‘part’ of the reason. That is THE reason,” Cromartie told Evan Grossman of the New York Daily News. “My play wasn’t part of it. I still feel that way after a whole entire year.”
Cromartie was released by the Colts last October. He had been benched already, and he believes the fact that he took a knee during the anthem became a tipping point for owner Jim Irsay.
“I think it’s the wrong venue,” Irsay said of protests last year. “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.”
Since then, the 33-year-old cornerback hasn’t been able to find work in football. But he’s still hopeful someone will call.
“If I get the opportunity, I would love to play. But if not, then I’m satisfied with my career,” he said. “Being at home, being a father, being a husband, there’s nothing better than that.”
And that’s the focus of his television show, which will likely be his source of income since it seems unlikely anyone’s calling now.