Single dudes in their twenties, especially those with seven-figure salaries, usually like to party. I don't blame them. As a fan, I accept that. This silly notion that those who play for our favorite teams can't have social lives infuriates me. So long as he isn't breaking laws or risking his life or career, what a player does in the offseason or even on Friday nights during the regular season should not concern his coaches, teammates or fans.
I've defended Rob Gronkowski on a few occasions. I don't care that he decided to blow off some steam by partying after losing to the Giants in last year's Super Bowl, and I actually find it hilarious that he's now tied to the world of adult entertainment. But I don't like this (via TMZ):
Rob Gronkowski scared the hell out of New England Patriots fans last night … when the superstar tight end BODY SLAMMED his friend on stage at a Las Vegas nightclub … landing hard on his broken forearm … and TMZ has the footage. Gronkowski — who signed a $54 million six-year contract extension in June — broke his forearm last season, then injured it again during the Pats' first playoff game against the Texans.
But that didn't stop him from executing a Stone Cold Stunner-esque move on a friend during a playful dance battle at XS nightclub last night. As Gronkowski was throwing his friend to the ground, the tight end — who was wearing a protective sleeve on his busted wing — also crashed to the ground and smacked his damaged arm on the stage in the process.
If I'm Tom Brady and I see that, I'm pissed. And that's why I agree with Willie McGinest, who thinks Brady should intervene and talk to Gronk about his behavior. This might have been an isolated incident, but history indicates the tight end is a bit of a loose cannon, so he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to debating whether he's put his body in danger on other, non-videotaped occasions.
Gronkowski is being paid a lot of friggin' money by the Patriots. He can't risk endangering himself off the field. He's in a special spot, and thus he has to take precautions that regular 23-year-olds might not have to take.