By Mark Gaughan
Williamsville native Rob Gronkowski, the New England Patriots' All-Pro tight end, has a reputation as a big, fun-loving jock.
Gronk, nevertheless, offered a relatively enlightened viewpoint today on the prospect of having a gay teammate during a radio interview on ESPN New York.
"You have to accept the player," Gronkowski said. "Everyone has their own ways to live their life, and as long as he's respecting me, keeping distance, respecting myself, then I will respect him back. If he's being a great teammate and he's a guy on the field doing a great job, then you have nothing to complain about. He’s another teammate and another friend.
"If someone is on my team and they are a great teammate and a great player on the field, helping the team win, that's all you can ask for."
Former cornerback Dominique Foxworth is president of the NFL Players Association. He offered the following comment on the subject today on WNST in Baltimore:
"There are gay players in the NFL today. It's a strong possibility that there already are some, and it's a strong possibility that there have been gay players in the league throughout its entire history. There are probably gay players in the Hall of Fame. So the idea that there's never been a gay player ... it's kind of absurd.
"So I think it might move more quickly once people get accustomed to people being open about it. It's not going to be easy for that person, which is why we're doing everything we can. And we've had quite a few meetings with a number of organizations to help educate our players. It's important that we educate our guys and be ready for this inevitability."