When a reporter from Outsports.com asked Rob Gronkowski at last week’s ESPY Awards if he’d accept a gay teammate, the New England Patriots tight end initially balked at the question.
Gronk — aware that his response would be analyzed and picked to pieces by the media — said he was “afraid of saying something wrong,” according to the website.
Gronkowski continued on his way, before pausing and cycling back to Cyd Zeigler Jr. of Outsports. Changing his mind, Gronk opened up on the issue.
“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.”
Hard to pick that apart. The NFL has never had an openly gay athlete, but multiple players this offseason have been consistent in preaching acceptance. Gronk was worried his response could get him into trouble — pouring a little cold water on the final days of the Summer of Gronk — but speaking honestly, he sounded very much like his peers here in 2012.