Rob Gronkowski sat down for an interview with his family on CBS This Morning about his new book. Just last week, he responded “no comment” to questions about Aaron Hernandez, and told the questioner to ask Roger Goodell about the league and off the field issues. Today, a visibly irritated Gronkowski got up to leave after a series of questions that ended with his father being asked to about Gronkowski and Hernandez, after Gronkowski had already refused twice to answer any questions about Hernandez.
CBS news is now featuring the video of Rob Gronkowski refusing to talk on its website. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. This is a situation where there is absolutely nothing to gain by responding. If we want our athletes to be more than robots and to have a personality, then we have to have a little more respect than firing questions here when there is absolutely no information to be garnered. The only rationale is to hope to create controversy.
This isn’t to say that athletes should be lobbed soft balls all the time, but what would Gronkowski have to meaningfully add here? The Hernandez murder story goes way beyond Gronkowski and Hernandez happening to have lined up at practice together. There are really only a few possibilities for why one would persist in asking Gronkowski.
He could express support for a former teammate, even if it is tepid support like, “Aaron Hernandez and I got along, he was a good teammate.” Then what? He’ll get linked to the Pounceys and their “Free Hernandez” t-shirts and draw attention. Alternatively, he could trash Hernandez. Then, he looks like he is kicking a dude that has way bigger problems than what a guy he used to work with thinks. As for the murder investigation and the allegations themselves, Gronkowski has nothing to add. Despite his public persona as a free-wheeling party guy, Gronkowski is smart enough to know discretion is appropriate, and to move on from a reporter who does not.