Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski Would Be “Cool” With Gay Teammate

We already love Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski for saying he’d bang Tim Tebow and for appearing naked on the cover of ESPN Magazine‘s “Body” issue. Now in an interview with OutSports, he announced he’d be down with a gay teammate.

You listening, Tebow?

OutSports’s Cyd Zeigler caught up with Gronkowski on the red carpet of the ESPY Awards, where the buff baller seemed a little caught off guard. After initially declining an interview, he relented:

“Have you ever played with a gay teammate?” I asked.

He thought for a moment and said he didn’t know of any.

“How would you feel if one of your teammates on the Patriots came out of the closet this season?”

This time he didn’t pause.

“If that’s how they are, that’s how they are,” Gronkowski said. “I mean, we’re teammates so, as long as he’s being a good teammate and being respectful and everything, that’s cool.”

Okay, so we wish he hadn’t added the “being respectful” part. We know Gronkowski was caught off guard, but it sounds a little like he thinks gridiron gays have a problem with controlling themselves.

Seriously—this is a sport where pros have raped women, murdered ex-wives, held dog fights and done God knows what else. Being respectful is hardly something NFLers aspire to.

Still, a positive message is a positive message, especially when it comes from one of the, ahem, biggest players in the game.

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  • Annon.

    Oh cmon! What he said was perfectly fine. Leave the guy alone.

  • Allan S

    I agree with Annon. You’re reading far too much into that “being respectful” part. It doesn’t sound at all like he was trying say “as long as he respects my personal space and isn’t trying to grab my junk”. You know, there is a general notion of respect and many athletes lack it due to over inflated egos.

    I swear, it’s comments like that that make some allies roll their eyes.

  • RS

    I agree with Annon too. Pick your battles.

  • Stupid

    Yeah, respectful … like keeping it about sports and not making, ahem, lame references to the size of his penis.

  • the other Greg

    Gronk is a cool ally in what’s really quite a poisonous environment – maybe worse than baseball, basketball & hockey put together – so let’s appreciate him.

  • Mark

    Respect is a great thing — in order to have a good team, everyone needs to respect everyone else, regardless.

  • Lifer

    I suspect Gronk knows that he already has 1 on his team (his name is Tom).

  • LeoMarius

    You are reading way too much into this.

  • Homomofo

    Avery man I like you most of the time but why MUST you always see the negative! The guy is trying to express support the best way he can (and he seems pretty well spoken for an athlete) If we attack celebrities who are trying to be supportive for not wording every sentence flawlessly or for not being as comfortable with gay issues as we think we should be, then nobody will want to speak up for us. That a professional athlete would speak up in support of a gay teammate was unheard of not too long ago and we still see many ignoramus’ who are quite vocal against it so lighten up!

  • GC

    Switch it around and turn it into “I wouldn’t mind if my teammate was asian as long as he was respectful”.

    He is a fucking idiot, plain and simple. I am not here to be yet another gay man who fetishizes heterosexual white men who happen to show a semblance of support for LGBT people.

  • the other Greg

    @GC: Not a good analogy. His rote word “respectful” means here, something more like merely “helpful”: a teammate who helps out the overall effort instead of being a self-aggrandizing, pretentious show-off. There’s a lot of that in sports so that’s where his mind automatically went. In that context, the “disrespectful” ones get traded, or at least their teammates always WANT them to get traded.

  • Baba Booey

    Respectful as in…you know…gay men are “hypersexed” and all. If you all didn’t catch that, that’s terrible.

  • Baba Booey

    @Allan S: Are you kidding? That’s exactly what it means.

  • Baba Booey

    Is an entire body is shaved…odd.

  • Paul

    This is what “show respect” means to gay men: don’t check me out, don’t ogle me, don’t rape me, don’t touch me -anywhere, don’t make eye-contact, don’t stand near me, don’t anything while I’m naked. There is no reading too much into it. If you look past that, then it’s your problem, not mine or the authors.

    If this guy was black, I can’t imagine the “show respect” would be met with kind words…

  • Baba Booey

    “Seriously—this is a sport where pros have raped women, murdered ex-wives, held dog fights and done God knows what else. Being respectful is hardly something NFLers aspire to.”

    Oh my gosh, preach it.

  • Mark

    Or he could have meant respectful as in you know treating people with respect….

  • Greg

    @Mark: Respect is code for: “Mind your P’s and Q’s homosexuals!”

  • GC

    the other Greg: Really? You are honestly going to use that kind of argument when you are well aware that this is the typical “I am fine with gay people as long as they are X”? Once again I ask you, are these “fine” comments?:

    I am fine working with a woman as long as she is respectful
    I am fine working with a jewish person as long as they are respectful

    Now would you try and twist these words into a classic “boys will be boys” sports bravado? No, because you will universally be seen as bigoted, but no, not when it comes to gay people.

  • D P

    Gronkowski is FINE, and he was the lead-in image on Fantasy Football. …its almost enough to get me to give Fantasy Football a try! You know, the Gronk is 6’6″ 265# and just a fresh 25 years old. Imagine being under all that!

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