Huffpost Sports
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Morris W. O'Kelly Headshot

The Troublesome Antonio Cromartie

Posted: Updated:
Print

2010-03-09-AntonioCromartie.jpgIf The Mo'Kelly Report has been anything over the years, it has been both consistent and fair. For every story Mo'Kelly has written in derision of a John Mayer, Michael Richards or even Dog the Bounty Hunter, you will also find one equally critical of Gilbert Arenas/Plaxico Burress, the Duke Lacrosse accuser and Nas the rapper.

No one has ever received a pass on the issues of race here, irrespective of their race. When heaping praise and critique, there is no double-standard now and there won't be in the future in this column.

Right is right and wrong is wrong.

Unfortunately, the reality is that we do not live in a post-racial society, despite the fact that Barack Obama lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. We do live in a post-legislated racism (i.e. post Jim Crow) society, but the issues of race persist.

Black farmers were recently awarded 1.25 billion (with a "b") in a civil discrimination suit. That is not a figment of my imagination. The FBI is presently investigating the police beating of Pittsburgh teenage violinist Jordan Miles in January of this year. If that weren't enough, the organization 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement called on NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate racial profiling after "stop and frisk" statistics went through the roof ... reflecting the disproportionate detainment of Blacks and Latinos.

Post-racial society? Hardly.

But speaking of racial profiling, it's the perfect entry point into the discussion of the newest member of the New York Jets, Antonio Cromartie ... the troublesome Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie came to the Jets by way of a trade with the San Diego Chargers. Yes, that would be the same San Diego, home to the "Compton Cookout" controversy on the campus of UCSD. Yes, that would be the same "Compton Cookout" where "educated" college students took to ridiculing the worst of Black stereotypes in "celebration" of Black History Month.

I know what some are you thing..."where is he going with this?"

Here's where...

In 2006, defensive back Antonio Cromartie signed a 5-year $12 million contract with the San Diego Chargers , $7.35 million of which was guaranteed.

This week, the New York Jets had to ADVANCE Cromartie $500,000 to enable him to address his "paternity issues."

Yes, "paternity issues."

Cromartie at age 25 has 7 children, by 6 different women across 5 states and is behind on child support by at least $25,000. All of the children are age 6 or younger. According to court records Cromartie has failed to appear in court on two different occasions regarding moving violations and his driver license status is in doubt. Specifically, he tried to get a California license in 2006 (to replace his Florida one) but could not pass the written portion of the test then and has not since.

But wait, there's more...

Cromartie has been named in "at least" five paternity suits in the past three years alone, meaning the official tally of how many kids are his is legally still in doubt and may rise considerably.

Yes, "at least" five. Could be six, could be eight, who knows? But "at least" five.

Antonio Cromartie is 25, broke and the embodiment of many of the worst that Black stereotypes have to offer.

The question today is whether we as African-Americans should be more upset at the racist stereotypes being "celebrated" at a college frat party or at the behavior of those like Antonio Cromartie which feed into them? This is not an either-or postulation, there's room to be mightily offended by both.

Let's remember, social capital is a finite resource and how we spend it on the issues of race invariably matters. There's room to attack both of these issues simultaneously, but I take particular exception to individuals like Antonio Cromartie.

Some 12 million Cromartie dollars later, we have at least 7 more children of color with neither an emotionally available father nor the financial support system in which to raise them. That is shameful.

The "Compton Cookout" was hideously offensive to be sure ... but this pains Mo'Kelly far worse.

Far, far worse.

Wide receiver and father Plaxico Burress ... jail (Home recently foreclosed) Star guard and unwed father (2 children) Gilbert Arenas ... on his way to jail. Rapper Lil Wayne, unwed father of 4 children (two born simultaneously to different women) ... just finished tucking himself in ... you got it, prison. Black male pathology is in full swing. It's not funny and it's not a figment of one's imagination. It's true and we should recognize it for what it is.

It is unacceptable, that's what it is. There will be no "partridge in a pear tree jokes" today.

As sorry of an individual Antonio Cromartie must be to father (at least) 7 children with 6 women across 5 states, how much blame should fall at the feet of our community who neither puts a stop to individuals such as him nor condemns the behavior with the same veracity we condemned the "Compton Cookout?"

Mo'Kelly doesn't want to see African-Americans mocked on college campuses or having nooses dangled in derision. At the same time, Mo'Kelly especially doesn't want to see the likes of Antonio Cromartie breathe life into the worst of those same Black male stereotypes.

I don't want to hear any excuses and I definitely don't want any "explanations" as to why Cromartie gets a pass (no football pun intended) and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity doesn't.

Neither should.

To have seven children (likely more, pending paternity suit results) with 6 women across 5 states by age 25 isn't funny, isn't acceptable or explainable in any way. For all the protests and outrage (rightfully) directed at UC San Diego and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, some should have been directed at Cromartie too. I mean, it's the same damn city.

The troublesome Antonio Cromartie...

Both have measurable and deleterious effects and must be addressed if we as a society are ever to overcome the issue of race. We in the African-American community must approach the Antonio Cromarties of the world with the same righteous indignation we do a "Compton Cookout." Otherwise, in the not-so-distant future we will have bankrupted our social capital account and impugned our moral authority once and for all.

RELATED: It's Time to Be Honest about Duke
ESPN was Smart to Fire Paul Shirley
John Mayer's 'N*****' Pass Revoked
Gun-Toting Athletes Affect All Black Males
Nas is a Comedian, Not an Intellectual

Morris W. O'Kelly (Mo'Kelly) is author of the syndicated entertainment and socio-political column The Mo'Kelly Report. For more Mo'Kelly, http://mokellyreport.wordpress.com. Mo'Kelly can be reached at mrmokelly@gmail.com and he welcomes all commentary.

Around the Web

MMQB Mailbag: Jets take good risk on Cromartie; Big Ben clarification

Cromartie: The Last Scam

NY Jets give CB Antonio Cromartie $500000 in up-front money, report says

Jets blow up secondary: Cromartie in, Rhodes, Strickland and Sheppard out

Will Lions import Antonio Cromartie or Pacman Jones to play corner?

As NFL Free Agency Opens, a Big Splash and Smaller Ripples

From Our Partners