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Rob Gronkowski enlightened about gay teammate issue

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."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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