Gronkowski opens up about accepting gay teammates

Published On July 17, 2012 | By Arielle Aronson

When Rob Gronkowski makes the news for his off-field activities, it always seems to be for the wrong reasons. The Patriots tight end has already been hounded in this past year for partying immediately after the Super Bowl, posing on Twitter with a porn actress and baring all in an ESPN photo shoot.

But at the ESPYs, Gronkowski revealed a more sensitive side of himself not often imagined beyond his frat boy persona. When asked on the red carpet by, a blog targeted toward homosexual sports fans, for an interview, Gronkowski initially denied the request out of fear of saying something wrong.

After some time to think, however, Gronkowski returned to complete the interview. Gronkowski said he has never played with a gay teammate as far as he knows, but he revealed he has no issues with playing with a gay teammate.

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

Gronkowski is the latest star athlete to open up about his acceptance of gay teammates. Over the last year, the You Can Play project, a venture started by Patrick Burke, the son of Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, has been working to ensure equality for athletes of all sexual orientations. The You Can Play project has spread among college and NHL hockey teams and is now progressing into other sports as well.


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About The Author

Arielle Aronson is a sports writer and recent graduate from Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Print Journalism Magna Cum Laude. Arielle has a passion for sports cultivated from growing up with two older brothers. She also enjoys playing the piano, reading and traveling.