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Gronk apologizes, says friend in video was not offended

Gronk AP

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.

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75 Responses to “Gronk apologizes, says friend in video was not offended”
  1. ctiggs says: Nov 15, 2013 3:40 PM

    please lets move on to a non politically correct generation

  2. abusementland says: Nov 15, 2013 3:42 PM

    ENOUGH!

    These guys are bound to say stupid things just like everyone else! They just have cameras and an audience at all times! If anything, it proves they are more like us.

    And if you think that you haven’t had moments like these guys have had, you are lying to yourselves.

  3. flaccodelic says: Nov 15, 2013 3:42 PM

    That’s just Gronk being Gronk. aka kind of a tool.

  4. iced107 says: Nov 15, 2013 3:42 PM

    lmao wow…

    media loves blowing everything out of proportion.. especially the locker room culture…

    the media would explode if they heard how guys talked to each other on deployment

  5. softhelmet says: Nov 15, 2013 3:44 PM

    I don’t what I’m going to do tomorrow, but I apologize in advance – just in order to save time.

  6. buddysguys says: Nov 15, 2013 3:45 PM

    he is part caveman he doesnt know any better

  7. dc49er says: Nov 15, 2013 3:46 PM

    This world is just too sensitive.

  8. schmitty2 says: Nov 15, 2013 3:47 PM

    I have no desire to listen to anything coming from Keith Olbermann.

  9. thepftpoet says: Nov 15, 2013 3:47 PM

    Spygate.

  10. jasfish12 says: Nov 15, 2013 3:48 PM

    Good lord, let’s over-analyze everything and never have any fun. Heaven forbid any of us ever says anything remotely wrong.

  11. classyjacklambert says: Nov 15, 2013 3:49 PM

    I’m all for a good ole American self-righteousness act of indignation but honestly sometimes it’s just fun to say stupid stuff in a seemingly racist way. You’re not making fun of the race, you’re making fun of racism, which is the best way to overcome it in my opinion.

  12. 6ball says: Nov 15, 2013 3:54 PM

    .

    What time does ” Family Guy ” come on?

    # wordpolice

    .

  13. cglacius says: Nov 15, 2013 3:55 PM

    If Goddell let Cooper flat out call blacks the N-word while clearly outraged, Gronk obviously has nothing to worry about. Ever since Obama got in office, blatent racism is no longer taboo/unacceptable…..I wonder why?

  14. golfsox78 says: Nov 15, 2013 3:55 PM

    What blows me away is that people are shocked by this. I work at a very large company with many different types of people. We are constantly busting each other’s chops about various things. Everything we do is out of friendship and respect and we all have a good time. There is a huge difference calling some one a derogatory name out of anger and hate compared to some good old fashioned friendship ball-busting.

  15. jimjets says: Nov 15, 2013 3:57 PM

    suspension for the rest of the regular season, and a $100,000 donation to the Asian based charity of his “friends” choice. NOW!

  16. northstarnic says: Nov 15, 2013 4:01 PM

    Who cares?

  17. kane337 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:02 PM

    Olbermann is actually right for once.

  18. rjkilla says: Nov 15, 2013 4:02 PM

    next there will be a swear jar in locker rooms…the tattle tale media needs to grow up

  19. tedmurph says: Nov 15, 2013 4:08 PM

    If he played for the Redskins would it be OK?

  20. crownofthehelmet says: Nov 15, 2013 4:09 PM

    Better than mocking dancers everywhere with his offensive shirt-less dance moves.

  21. nyjetsfan08 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:11 PM

    Like he’s sorry. He probably was told by PR to pretend to apologize or he thought of it on his own. It was an attempt to be comedic, not vicious. The hard part with all this PC garbage is it’s difficult to quantify what is racist. The only sure way to know is if it passes the smell test. Watch and listen for the context to identify the difference between good-natured fun and maliciousness.

  22. thelastwordyaheard says: Nov 15, 2013 4:12 PM

    crawl in a hole & die Olbermann

  23. ananonymoussource says: Nov 15, 2013 4:15 PM

    It was Leslie Chow and fried rice is the only thing he can cook.

  24. fatsolio says: Nov 15, 2013 4:15 PM

    “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. ”

    And if a video was shown of a black athlete calling a white guy a honkey, cracker or any other slur for white people then it’d have been a non-story since it is a-ok to make race based comments about white people but heaven forbid you do so of blacks or Asians. Just shows the double standard in the media where a black person can say whatever they want and the media doesn’t give a rip.

    I think Gronk having to apologize is ridiculous especially since the guy is a friend. If Gronk had some issues with Asians then he wouldn’t be friends with one/some of them.

  25. keepounding1234 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:16 PM

    I remember a game when after gronk made a strong run. The announcer said it looked like he was running for his mothers kielbasa. I am not making this up someone has got to remember that. I thought it was funny and I’m a Polack. Should the announcer have to apologize?

  26. dstep24 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:17 PM

    Ye who hath never, one time in thy life, made fun of – either joking or mocking – someone of another ethnic city, with relation to stereotypical trades of that ethnic city…cast the first stone.

  27. airtrixxx1080 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:18 PM

    Is there really no other NFL news worth reporting on that you resort to this?

  28. sactogary says: Nov 15, 2013 4:18 PM

    I don’t think Gronk did anything wrong, but I do think it is interesting how the concept of apologizing has morphed.

    At one time, an apology was an admission of wrongdoing, coupled with an expression of regret. Now, it’s often just an acknowledgment of others being overly sensitive. I may or may not be sorry for what I did, but “I’m sorry YOU were offended” – that’s the typical celebrity apology.

  29. shlort says: Nov 15, 2013 4:19 PM

    I think this is a little… well.. a lot different than a racial slur. I have friends of different ethnicities than my own, and we joke around some about steryotypes and whatnot. I don’t call any of them slurs, but I have done what Gronk did. It wasn’t a one way street either. I got it right back, like you would expect from a buddy who likes to joke around.

    People who take offense for other groups of people are only pretending to be sensitive to that group. I don’t take offense when people call other people names. I don’t think it is right in most instances, but I don’t have the space in my head to rent out for “Be offended for others”. Too much other stuff going on for that to worry me.

  30. mrlaloosh says: Nov 15, 2013 4:19 PM

    How desperate must ESPN have been to bring back Olbermann? This guy is an educated idiot. Not easy to do.

  31. jolink653 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:26 PM

    First of all, he was making a joke about a friend and he didn’t use it as an insult. Anyone who took it as an insult really needs to get a life.

    And secondly, why is it so much more offensive if he had made a similar joke about a black person? So it’s okay to make a racial comment about Asians, but you can’t make one about blacks? The double standard makes me sick, and I’m not Asian or black. I’m so tired of people climbing all over each other to take offense to things and cry racism. Find something constructive to do with your time

  32. szwhtsup123 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:26 PM

    And in other BIG NEWS, reports just came in that Gronk and any other football player may not have smiled when seeing a puppy.

  33. trollaikman8 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:28 PM

    Jimmy Kimmel needs to apologize for this.

  34. ahs2 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:31 PM

    2013 America: if you’re not offended, don’t worry, someone will be for you! Makes me sick…

  35. mikebarnesnarizona says: Nov 15, 2013 4:35 PM

    Wow look at all the hating going on here. Girls lets talk about something near and dear to our hearts. Lets talk about your upcoming Super Bowl Champs…..The Seattle Seahawks!!!!!!

  36. sweetnlow44 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:35 PM

    Man, if cameras followed me and my buddies around for a day and heard us talk to each other, we’d be public enemy number 1 for sure. This PC garbage needs to go away. People need to lighten up and enjoy life.

  37. FinFan68 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:35 PM

    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.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Ok, but what will Gronk say if this guy snaps 8 months later and blames this incident?

  38. nagaswan says: Nov 15, 2013 4:37 PM

    Keith Olberman is not right about anything ever. Clown. Even when he is almost right, it is for the wrong reasons.

  39. chrismgillis says: Nov 15, 2013 4:38 PM

    The side is overly sensitive. the same people who claim to be offended by this, are the same people who call middle eastern people camel jockeys. get over it. whiners

  40. nutitletown says: Nov 15, 2013 4:52 PM

    i can’t believe i wasted time reading this entry. What Gronk did was right, not wrong. Us outsiders have no right to judge Gronk and Joe’s relationship. They can say anything they want to each other. Why are people so stupid? The media needs to smarten up.

  41. warhammer420 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:54 PM

    We had a sick night beaches!

  42. @Cereal_22 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:56 PM

    Something tells me that Gronk & Incognito would be great friends

  43. reesesteel23 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:57 PM

    Whether you like it or not, bottom line is, people who are a public figure, and in this case have kids all over the world wearing your jersey, you just cant say things like that.

    I don’t think anyone took offense to it, but if there was 1 Asian guy in the bar out of 30, and it pissed that 1 guy off, then he probably should not have said it.They know these things and all of you in here know it too. It sucks, but you cant just go around spewing whatever you want.

  44. green41563 says: Nov 15, 2013 5:00 PM

    “The guy in the video is a wimp.”

    –Jonathan Martin

  45. reesesteel23 says: Nov 15, 2013 5:05 PM

    nutitletown

    LOLOL

    I don’t think what he did was “wrong” but how can you say..

    “What Gronk did was right, not wrong”

  46. raynman49 says: Nov 15, 2013 5:12 PM

    I’m kinda glad I’m not young. Really! Can you imagine what you won’t be able to say in 10 years? I don’t wanna see it.

  47. mack2x says: Nov 15, 2013 5:14 PM

    The fact that he has to apologize to “others” because he was joking around with a friend is just pathetic.

  48. lanman11 says: Nov 15, 2013 5:15 PM

    What Gronk should have said:

    “I am sorry that while I have not done anything truly wrong, you have seized on the opportunity to use this as a way to manufacture viewers and web hits in order to inflate your own personal financial interests. I realize this is the new American culture, brought to you by your friendly neighborhood grievance merchants, and I have to comply with the wishes of my employer and my employers governing association, and provide you with an undeserved and so called apology to disarm the media threats. However, having said all that, I still wave my private parts in your Aunties face. “

  49. fins33 says: Nov 15, 2013 5:25 PM

    Obviously there needs to be a full NFLPA investigation into whether or not the Patriots organization was aware of Gronkowski’s actions. Or maybe that is just if his friend doesn’t understand how friends talk to each other and files a complaint.

  50. superpatsfan3 says: Nov 15, 2013 5:30 PM

    dc49er says:
    Nov 15, 2013 3:46 PM
    This world is just too sensitive

    You hit the nail on the head. What may be more true is that ‘geeky little reporters who are over-empowered’ are too sensitive. 10% of these issues they report might be on point, but the other 90% are the little dudes making a story out of nothing because they can.

  51. fins33 says: Nov 15, 2013 5:30 PM

    I can’t believe all the people on here saying “friend’s should be able to talk to friends however they want without it becomming our business.” Where are all of these comments for Incognito? There is no way to say it’s any different other than Martin was also on the team. NFL players are not regular colleauges… they socialize, eat, sleep, and basically live together.

  52. tedmurph says: Nov 15, 2013 5:54 PM

    Anyone that doesn’t get the difference between friends fooling around and calling each other names vs Ingocnito’s constant, malicious, threatening, arguably criminal behavior towards Martin just doesn’t get it. Or is a Dolphins fan.

  53. pftusername1 says: Nov 15, 2013 6:28 PM

    and this is why belichick doesn’t talke to the media.

  54. apkyletexas says: Nov 15, 2013 6:41 PM

    Nice to see the Pats fan apologist tour out in full force on a Friday afternoon.

    Must be difficult though – they have to change gears from defending SpyGate and gangland-style industrial park murder to defending racist rants, while already probably 4-5 beers deep into their weekend benders.

    Not sure where attacking Florio comes into play on this one though. Gronk’s the one that got his ugly mug into the news, not Mike. Mike’s just updating a story that all the media is following.

    Calm down, Boston. Cam Newton’s going to beat the hell out of the Pats this weekend with or without Gronk’s latest embarrassment.

  55. harrisonhits2 says: Nov 15, 2013 6:57 PM

    reesesteel23 says:

    Whether you like it or not, bottom line is, people who are a public figure, and in this case have kids all over the world wearing your jersey, you just cant say things like that.
    ____________________

    Nope. These are football players. They didn’t apply for the job of “role model”, and personally I could give a crap if kids “all over the world” happen to see this video.

    Just because people like you decide to elevate football players to “role model” status doesn’t require them to pretend they are anyone other than who they want to be, or require them to cater to this.

  56. TheWizard says: Nov 15, 2013 7:13 PM

    they have to change gears from defending SpyGate

    There’s no “defending”.

    Bill did it. We just don’t care.

    Any team can still, within the rules, film defensive signals from press box level if they so desire.

  57. japmen says: Nov 15, 2013 7:27 PM

    I find it quite telling that Incognito was suspended and is getting fried by the media but with Gronk it’s ok because it’s a patriots player and he just insulted Asians. That’s no biggie….

  58. sactogary says: Nov 15, 2013 7:28 PM

    harrisonhits2 says: Nov 15, 2013 6:57 PM
    … These are football players. They didn’t apply for the job of “role model”…
    ————————————————-
    Role model is not something you apply for. You can’t choose it, and you can’t reject it if it is assigned to you. The decision for Larry Fitzgerald to be a role model is made by the 8-year-old who’s impressed by the diving catch, and all the other kids who think he’s great and want to be like him. Fitzgerald and many others embrace it as part of the honor of being an NFL player, and part of being a responsible adult. It’s a shame so many others don’t.

  59. IamtheBucsFan says: Nov 15, 2013 7:52 PM

    Come on with the PC nonsense. Gronk was just having a bit of fun with his friends that are not exactly like him (like all of us and our friends). No one out there can say you haven’t had a few words with your buddies out having a good time. If you can say you’ve been completely PC all the time with your buds, your either lying or no fun to be around.

    Stop with the crazy PC. All your doing is cheapening the real racism that needs to stop.

  60. azarkhan says: Nov 15, 2013 8:03 PM

    You actually referenced Keith “The Pig” Olbermann? LOL!

  61. marima07 says: Nov 15, 2013 8:35 PM

    reesesteel23 says: Nov 15, 2013 4:57 PM

    I don’t think anyone took offense to it, but if there was 1 Asian guy in the bar out of 30, and it pissed that 1 guy off, then he probably should not have said it.
    —————————————
    No. Gronk can say whatever he wants. If a guy who attended his fundraiser was offended he can do two things.

    1. Tell him he was offended (Then Gronk has the chance to apologize right there and then, and the ‘situation’ is resolved.)

    2. Stop attending Gronkowski fundraisers.

    But what’s the deal with whoever turned the video over to TMZ? I don’t get that at all.

  62. shlort says: Nov 15, 2013 8:59 PM

    FinFan68 says:Nov 15, 2013 4:35 PM

    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.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Ok, but what will Gronk say if this guy snaps 8 months later and blames this incident?
    ________________________

    If that guy snaps 8 months from now, and blames that incident, he is lying about what made him snap. It is that simple.

    It is a cop out if someone blames someone or something else for their actions. The responsible person is the one that did something wrong. It is not societies fault. it is not something they heard or read. It is their fault.

  63. staffordsyear says: Nov 15, 2013 9:14 PM

    So glad this tool isn’t a lion.

  64. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Nov 15, 2013 9:32 PM

    OH BROTHER & GOOD GRIEF…

  65. briang123 says: Nov 15, 2013 9:41 PM

    My college buddies would laugh at the lack of creativity on Gronk’s part, as the racial slurs we called other were original works of art. 20 years later, we are in a fantasy footba league and little has changed. Is bet all I got Gronk’s pal didn’t care at all.

  66. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Nov 15, 2013 9:46 PM

    golfsox78 says:
    Nov 15, 2013 3:55 PM
    What blows me away is that people are shocked by this. I work at a very large company with many different types of people. We are constantly busting each other’s chops about various things. Everything we do is out of friendship and respect and we all have a good time. There is a huge difference calling some one a derogatory name out of anger and hate compared to some good old fashioned friendship ball-busting.

    = = = = =

    BOOM.

    I 0could not agree more with everyone golfsox78 just said. He nailed it perfectly. Busting ballz is a lot of fun for everyone – when those involved (or learning of it later) aren’t reading things into it that aren’t there.

    Sergeant Hulka’s legendary line, “Lighten up, Francis” would seem to apply for way too many people nowadays.

  67. briang123 says: Nov 15, 2013 9:50 PM

    A couple weeks ago, my African-American chum came over for Eagles game and I said “I’m ordering food, what do you want?” He said, “nothing with mayonnaise in it.” What followed were 20 minutes of Undercover Brother movie lines and racial jokes going both ways. Were either of us offended? Of course not, that’s my man and we can say anything to each other. The only people who care about friends banter have agendas. The rest of us are enjoying our friendships instead of choosing to whine with the P.C. crowd.

  68. svn2011 says: Nov 15, 2013 10:00 PM

    via the bostonherald

    Context of the Gronkowski “fried rice” comment: Gronk told Joe prior to TMZ video that he wanted him to jump onto the dance floor……Joe told Gronk something to the effect of, “I can’t dance, but I can cook fried rice.” So Gronk essentially repeated that over the mic.

  69. beach305 says: Nov 15, 2013 10:34 PM

    Welcome to the jonathan Martin era.

  70. teek77 says: Nov 16, 2013 12:01 AM

    Reesesteel23 says, “Whether you like it or not, bottom line is, people who are a public figure, and in this case have kids all over the world wearing your jersey, you just cant say things like that.”

    I am not a Gronk fan but, it is not his fault that people choose to wear his jersey or that parents allow their kids to buy and/or wear his jersey. Whatever happened to freedom of speech? It is almost impossible to say anything that does not offend someone! “Seahawks are the Best” offends me greatly but I’m not going to raise cane about it!!!

  71. goodellmustgo says: Nov 16, 2013 7:58 AM

    Just once I wish someone would say “yeah, I said that…..get over it.”

  72. reaction101 says: Nov 16, 2013 8:08 AM

    Well,let’s be nice and happy all the time. No offense!

  73. FinFan68 says: Nov 16, 2013 8:54 AM

    shlort says:
    Nov 15, 2013 8:59 PM
    FinFan68 says:Nov 15, 2013 4:35 PM

    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.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Ok, but what will Gronk say if this guy snaps 8 months later and blames this incident?
    ________________________

    If that guy snaps 8 months from now, and blames that incident, he is lying about what made him snap. It is that simple.

    It is a cop out if someone blames someone or something else for their actions. The responsible person is the one that did something wrong. It is not societies fault. it is not something they heard or read. It is their fault.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    That is precisely my point in regards to Jonathan Martin

  74. jae121704 says: Nov 16, 2013 9:20 AM

    I’ve said MUCH worse playing Madden on Xbox Live.

  75. reaction101 says: Nov 16, 2013 9:43 AM

    Well what do we have here? Play nice and be nice. Never speak out of turn. Wow! I see Gronk being his light hearted funny self and Joe was ok with it . TMZ is out there to make head lines and Money.

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