Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has apologized for the video that surfaced showing him mocking an Asian-American man. But Gronkowski also says the man is a friend of his who told him no offense was taken.
“I feel bad, personally,” Gronkowski said, via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. “I feel bad. I talked to Joe and he assured me he took no offense in any way. I know others did [take offense] and I apologize to those who took offense.”
In the video, which was published by TMZ, Gronkowski referred to the man as “Leslie Chow,” the Ken Jeong character Hangover movies, and said, “They told me he could only cook fried rice.”
The Gronkowski incident didn’t become the big story that the video of Riley Cooper using the N-word became, and maybe it shouldn’t have: After all, Gronkowski was joking around with a friend, while Cooper was using a slur while threatening violence. Still, as Keith Olbermann noted on his ESPN show, if Gronkowski had called a black man “Black Doug” (another Hangover character) and made a “fried chicken” reference instead of a “fried rice” reference, this would have been a big deal. Even if his friend in the video took no offense, Gronkowski was right to apologize.