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It’s no secret that Rob Gronkowski doesn’t exactly fall in line with the “Patriot Way.” His on-field production has made it easy for fans and management alike to just accept his antics as “Gronk being Gronk,” but if his production doesn’t pick up soon, what then? While he isn’t getting arrested for drugs or alcohol (or even murder), or causing nationwide headlines, he still has a knack for putting himself in the spotlight off the field, like he did this past week with the Patriots coming off their bye.
Gronkowski’s latest stunt came at a Q&A session in Bar Louie at Patriot Place in Foxborough. At one point fans started dancing to some music. One man that started dancing was an Asian man wearing a Gronkowski jersey.
Following the man’s attempt at dancing Gronkowski said into the microphone, “”They told me he could only cook fried rice!” He then proceeded to call the man Leslie Chow; Chow is the name of actor Ken Jeong’s character in the “Hangover” movies.
It seems that Gronkowski is fooling around and having a good time and there were no ill intentions to his statements. However, this could clearly be viewed negatively by some, especially in light of the recent firestorm surrounding Richie Incognito’s hazing and bullying of Miami Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin .
Another man then jokingly says, “You all know you signed a waiver saying that you must turn over your phone before exiting.” This appears to be another joke as one of attendees turned the footage over to TMZ who then aired the clip.
Most likely Bill Belichick will pull Gronkowski into his office and give him a firm talking to meant as a slap on the wrist. It is unlikely that this will turn into anything more than Gronkowski sitting out a series or two on Monday night, unless of course somebody takes offense to the video and demands action be taken.
The larger question is will the Patriots continue to put up with Gronkowski’s antics if his injury troubles persist or his production begins to fall off? So far his numbers have rebounded well, as he has posted 19 receptions for 284 yards and one touchdown in only three games. But, the team has seen the great Rob Gronkowski during the regular season, only to lose him when heading into the playoffs. How long is Gronkowski’s leash if he is once again unable to help the Patriots get to where they want to be as Super Bowl champions?
Gronkowski is under contract until at least 2018, but the team gave him that extension under the assumption that he would be playing alongside Aaron Hernandez and possibly even Wes Welker. Things may be different with those two gone and the majority of the offensive load on Gronkowski’s back.