Patriots' Rob Gronkowski Would Be Perfectly Fine with Respectful Gay Teammate

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterJuly 16, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11:  New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski arrives at the 2012 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The New England Patriots have their hands full with a tight end who is closely meandering to the title bigger than life, and his latest thoughts on having a gay teammate are as close as we will get to spot on from an NFL star. 

Rob Gronkowski, the player who may be the biggest name in football this side of Tim Tebow, has been all over the place recently. 

He is pictured in the buff for ESPN the Magazine's latest Body Issue, the Patriots have given him a cease and desist from acting so much like a Bro and now there is an interview coming to light that has him sounding off on the potential for an openly gay teammate. 

Outsports, a website whose mission is to, "build the broadest, deepest, most informative and most entertaining gay sports community," caught up with Gronkowski on the red carpet of the recent ESPY Award ceremonies, and they managed quite the interesting exchange. 

According to the report from Cyd Zeigler Jr., Gronkowski was a bit apprehensive about speaking with the reporter, more from a fear of saying the wrong thing. 

He relented and gave Zeigler the opportunity for two questions to be asked. 

“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.”

We are slowly working our way to a grand moment in sports. We know we arrive there when a similar question is given with an answer of, "I wouldn't care."

Instead, Gronkowski gives the caveat of a teammate being respectful, as if this is remotely discussed for players in any sport. 

You take your teammates as they are. 

I do have to second Zeigler's opinion that Gronkowski should be applauded for having the willingness to actually give an interview after he initially refused. 

We aren't looking for Gronk to shift social mores in one interview. The man seems far more interested in catching touchdowns and living the frat boy life. 

However, this brief interview signals times are changing in the NFL, and changing for the better. 

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