Opinion

The tight end and the porn star

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Eric McErlain Sports Blogger

It’s always good to know that despite the fact that the NFL has a social media policy, NFL players will still find new and creative ways to publicly embarrass themselves for our amusement.

Case in point: second-year New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who found himself apologizing for having his picture taken with a porn star when the press gaggle descended on him earlier today.

“I didn’t intend anything to hurt the reputation of anyone on the New England Patriots or on behalf of Robert Kraft,” said Gronkowski. “That’s all, just a simple picture, that’s all. From here on out, I’m just here to talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the big game this weekend.”

On some level, it was hard to understand what Gronkowski was apologizing for. After all, we’re talking about a very single man. He didn’t break any laws, and there’s absolutely no evidence that this kid — and, yes, at 22 Gronkowski is still very much a kid — did anything wrong. In fact, the young lady in question in the photo has confirmed that Grankowski wasn’t guilty of anything more than wanting to boost the size of his following on Twitter. Better still, Gronkowski is in the midst of a pretty good season, one where he’s already caught 29 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns in just six games.

Elsewhere in the New England Patriots locker room, Gronkowski has already become the target of some good natured ribbing from his own quarterback, Tom Brady. In a radio interview with Boston’s WEEI, Brady said, “I’m just glad I’m no longer the one that people are making fun of on my team on a daily basis … Gronk has definitely pulled into the lead there,” said Brady on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan Show.

If I’m Gronkowski, I’m a little miffed at all the fuss. After all, I don’t seem to recall Brady having to apologize for his infamous GQ interview.

Eric McErlain blogs at Off Wing Opinion, a Forbes “Best of the Web” winner. In 2006 he wrote a “bloggers bill of rights” to help integrate bloggers into the Washington Capitals’ press box. Eric has also written for Deadspin, NBC Sports and the Sporting News, and covers sports television for The TV News. Follow Eric on Twitter.