Antonio Cromartie says he’s being blackballed because of protests

Getty Images

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.

51 responses to “Antonio Cromartie says he’s being blackballed because of protests

  1. This is going to be the norm now. Players that are no longer playing are going to all blame the protests and being blackballed.

    The fact is owners will not put their personal opinions above winning. If Wilson took a knee last night Seattle wouldn’t cut him today.

    Zero personal responsibility for the poor play and attitude while on your last team. Better players come every draft and some people don’t get that. They think a name or one season will keep them employeed and when it doesn’t it’s always someone else’s fault.

  2. No Antonio, you’re being blackballed because you stink. In fact the only reason why you were on a team is because you were fast. You were never a good tackler or cover guy so when you lose your speed, you’re done. Tired of all these bs excuses that bring race into the issue.

  3. dg0122 says:
    November 10, 2017 at 8:38 am
    Most relevant words in that article “33 year old cornerback”
    Yup, you could have locked any comments after this one, but I’ll add to it. “journeyman cornerback”

  4. But to clarify, Cromartie wasn’t “already benched” for his protests, he got benched mid-game because his first half play was awful in trying to cover Jags’ WRs and he drew a couple of costly flags. He’d struggled with hip trouble last season and showed clear signs of slowing down, for which the Jets released him. And he’d only been picked up this year because Colts had major injury losses. This nonsense claim about his release is all to promote his new dumb nonreality “Cromarties” show and PFT dutifully complied.

  5. While kneeling didn’t make him a more desirable player to have on an NFL team, it has nothing to do with the fact that he no longer is one.

    The fact that he thinks it is just proves how entitled he thinks he is.

    Time to move on with your life.

  6. Guess what: if that were accurate, that’s 100% acceptable.

    Colin Kaepernick is far from the first player who was ever blackballed and he will be far from the last. When employers decide you are not worth the headaches that your presence brings (for whatever reason) then your career in that industry will end.

    Tim Tebow, Terrell Owens, Greg Hardy, Ray Rice. We can go down the list all day of players who probably had plenty left to give to the game but the plethora of teams that could use their talent all decided the baggage was too much for the level of playmaking ability they would receive. Heck, Terrell Owens would have been catching at least 500-600 yards per season for somebody probably here in 2017 if he wasn’t so difficult to work with.

    “Blackballed” =/= Collusion

  7. To be honest I have no problem with owners who make the decision to get rid or not sign players who make their misguided choice to take a knee.

    Having said that, a cornerback who during his prime didn’t like to tackle, got burnt quite often and was always overhyped due to his speed, ages out of the position and now that he has lost a step wants to claim he is blackballed. Please these players need to recognize that the point of the NFL is to win, and if a player’s talent starts a downward trend . . . well their attitude and choices are what will separate them into “good veteran presence in the locker room” and forced retirement into a reality TV show doomed to failure!

  8. As most people above me have pointed out, Cromartie had world class speed and few other NFL caliber talents. His speed diminished a little and now his sub-par tackling and coverage skills made him unworthy of a roster spot.

    Now,if he was unemployed because of his protest, it wouldn’t be called “blackballed”. It’s called a consequence for your actions and choices. You don’t get to do whatever you want, without risking consequences from your current or prospective employer.

    Entitlement is running rampant in the United States. It’s not race or gender thing. It’s not an economic thing. It doesn’t have demographic and it has no limits. All we can do to help change the entitlement culture is to raise our kids to work hard and earn everything they’re given. If we don’t do that, than we’ll have a bunch “Victims” running around with hurt feelings.

  9. Nope – not being blackballed. If you kneel it is bad for business. When you are bad for business you don’t get jobs. Being blackballed seems like something is being hidden. You kneeled – therefore you don’t get a job. You messed up bro. Kneeling is bad. Very bad. For business.

  10. ….and now, reality of supporting all of those kids hits like a brick. The big paycheck days that we’re going to last forever are over, and your eyes finally open.
    You’re going to be broke and working at a Burger King soon..
    So, what’s the play? Black balling ofcourse…..

  11. Well, maybe you shouldn’t have disrespected the flag that is supposed to represent us all…not your race-baiting bullcrap

  12. I too would love to see an owner just say, hey pal your play was awful, we couldn’t use you and when you took the knee, disrespected my fans who paid for tickets, that was the end for me. Maybe not your career but for me.

  13. Man I get black balled on the daily and you don’t hear me complaining. Oh wait, that’s blue balled…sorry.

  14. And yet, they continue to do it. Smart people learn from their mistakes. Fools make the same mistakes over and over. You get what you deserve in life. Stop complaining when YOU brought it on.

  15. “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.”

    Never thought that senile old druggie would say something so poignant, but he said it perfectly.

  16. Hell freezes over because Jerry Jones was right. This fiasco is enough reason for Goodell to have his pay cut or for him to preferably lose his job…

  17. I don’t follow Cromartie at all so I do not know the answer to my question…but I have a strong feeling that it is Nothing.

    Outside of kneeling for 2.5 to 3 minutes what have you done to further the “cause”?

  18. The guy that needed an advance on his pay to leave Arizona, to appease his child support arrears? Nah, its gotta be blackballing. Its certainly not his age, or loss of speed, or lack of skill. Its definitely someone elses fault.

  19. Cromartie was released by the Colts last October. He had been benched already,
    (Kaepernick) (Niners) (Feb)

    yeah, yeah I know, technically he quit- point is why is one a martyr and one a joke?

  20. “Some Americans will never appreciate America, until after they have helped destroy it, and have then begun to suffer the consequences.” – Thomas Sowell

  21. Gee, and the next question Antonio will try to answer is why the NFL ratings continue to drop and game attendance continues to drop. Gosh, I guess that means the NFL is being blackballed by the fans. Derp!!! We gotta blame all of our problems on someone else now.

  22. It is easy – DO NOT TAKE A KNEE while working but these guys have always been told they were special and the rules that apply to we peons did not apply to them. I was born in Tennessee , raised in Alabama and have a bit of a southern accent, but I knew that hanging a Confederate battle flag over my desk was “career limiting”

  23. Love Cro as he did some really good things for the Jets but his play took a nose dive. Nothing to hang your head over. It happens to every player at some point. If Kap and Cromartie were better players they would have a job.

  24. It always has to be a conspiracy. Everyone’s getting together and telling each other not to sign Cromartie, right?

    Suck it up dude. You’re not that important. And you don’t need a conspiracy theory to understand why it’s not happening for you.

    1. You’re old.
    2. Teams don’t like chronic kneelers. It’s just bad business.

    none of that means that any of the teams is saying a single word to any other team about you, bub. Owners are generally good businessmen, and good businessmen don’t import known problems. They avoid them. They have enough crap to deal with without you on their roster.

    So if you were perhaps 3 or 4 years younger, and if the very sight of you wasn’t so offensive to a huge portion of the NFL’s fan base, things would be different. It really is that simple.

  25. “What we all have to be aware of as players, owners, PR people, equipment managers is that when the light go on we are entertainment. We are being paid to put on a show. There are other places to express yourself.”

    Perfectly put.

    So – why is that so difficult to understand?

    His taking a knee during the anthem being a tipping point for Irsay? Very probably true, as in enough is enough.

  26. Ball games aren’t patriotic events anyway. Why the National Anthem before every ball game in this country? Just sayin’!

  27. The players’ cartel should invest in a team or try to get a new franchise. Every player on this team will be required to protest during the national anthem. I think some blue states would welcome this team (Portland, Oakland (if Raiders leave), LA (drop the Chargers), Chicago (another team), and Hartford. I would like to propose some possible names for this new team: Protesters, Social Justice Warriors, Anti-Trumpers, Commies, Leftists, Disrespecters, Anthem-Freeman, …

  28. Let me see if I understand this correctly.

    A 33-year-old CB,
    with a big cap number,
    was recently cut –
    from the injury-riddled secondary
    of the woeful Colts.

    And because teams are not crawling over each other to sign that lethal combination of price and performance, he believes he is being blackballed?

    Very, very few NFL players get to leave the game on their own terms.

  29. Martin Luther King was not a popular man among white folks in his day. It wasn’t until decades later that he was appreciated, and behind closed doors, he’s still hated by many. They’re just too cowardly to say it out loud.

  30. cromartie is pretty old..good player in his prime but you’d be hardpressed to find many 38 year old cornerbacks in the nfl..look at revis, he aint playing…he didnt protest..also…people like to make fun of cro for having all them kids but the man is taking care of them, is he not?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!