Rob Gronkowski is finally ready to speak about the most controversial person he’s ever been around on a professional football team.
For the very first time in his life this week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end opened up about his most infamous former teammate: tight end-turned-convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez.
As you’ll recall, the late Hernandez was convicted of murder back in 2015 after the shooting death of a man named Odin Lloyd two years prior. Formerly a star tight end at the University of Florida alongside quarterback Tim Tebow, Hernandez later teamed with Gronkowski and famed QB Tom Brady during his pro career with the New England Patriots.
Hernandez and Gronkowski were actually even both drafted by the team in the same year (2010), so it’s clear Gronk remembers the late tight end and convicted murderer very well.
Now, speaking on Spotify‘s 10 Questions With Kyle Brandt podcast, Gronk let go a little bit, opening up to discuss Hernandez publicly for the first time. For one, the powerful tight end recalled how he’s always turned down questions about the felon, up until today. Now, he’s more willing to consider and recall just what an experience it was to be teamed up.
The 31-year-old Super Bowl champion said (below):
“Aaron was a great player. He was a great football player. But, I mean, I get questions … all the time about him and everything. And with everything going on, I was definitely shook when I heard that, when I heard everything about it.”
And Gronk made it clear how Hernandez’s behavior on and off the field were miles apart:
“Being his teammate and everything and you just, you really don’t see that. You’re not really looking into players like that’s who they are or that’s what they’re doing. But just overall, I just try to keep it simple and light. He was a great football player, but that does not mean anything. But you learn from other people too.”
Well OK then…
As we noted Hernandez was found guilty in the fatal shooting of Lloyd in April 2015. He served two years of a life sentence in prison — and was acquitted from another murder charge in the process — before hanging himself in his prison cell in 2017. He was just 27 years old at the time.
Of course, Gronk’s career has gone quite a bit differently. For him, a stellar time in the NFL has included Super Bowl rings on both the Patriots as well as just six weeks ago with his new team the Buccaneers.
And to think both these guys were drafted and began their pro career in the same year. Two paths, indeed…
You can see the full interview (below)!
Reactions, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF about Gronk’s comments here (and decision to come forward publicly at all) down in the comments (below)…
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