By Matt Dolloff, 985thesportshub.com
Rob Gronkowski made a terrible mistake.
Anyone with an objective bone in their body knows that Gronkowski made a dirty, ugly move when he basically dropped the People’s Elbow on the Bills’ Tre’Davious White. His frustration boiled over in the worst way. He may have given the rookie a corner a concussion in the process. He’ll almost certainly get a fine for the play, but could even get a suspension.
That being said … Sunday was not without Gronk takes that went way too far in the other direction. A multi-game suspension for Gronk would be fairly unprecedented, considering that it’s happened only six times since 1986 for plays on the field and they’ve almost always involved repeat offenders.
The fact that all of the Bills players let Rob Gronkowski slowly trot away after that brutal late hit that put White in concussion protocol is sad. They didn’t even try to stand up for him, simply pointed fingers. Couldn’t have been one of my teammates.— •E (@E_TheLowLife) December 4, 2017
Even so, that didn’t stop some people from acting like Gronkowski should face the stiffest penalty ever for a dirty play on the field. Take Nick Wright, who recently ignored semi-important details like the coach and quarterback when arguing that the Steelers are better than the Patriots. He saw the move as dirtier than anything seen in 2017:
Everyone's favorite meathead, Gronk, just committed the dirtiest play of the NFL season. He should be suspended next week. That was awful.— nick wright (@getnickwright) December 3, 2017
He was pretty tame compared to others. Here’s Bleacher Report’s Ryan McCrystal, who feels it would be perfectly fine for the NFL to set an outrageous new precedent by sitting Gronk for the rest of the season:
Honestly, this type of play should be toughest suspension the NFL can hand out. Gronk assaulted a defenseless man and put his career in jeopardy with a hit to the head. Suspending him for the rest of the year would be perfectly appropriate.— Ryan McCrystal (@Ryan_McCrystal) December 4, 2017
And here’s Aaron Brown, a St. Louis-based blogger who saw not a cheap shot but a literal crime. He achieved the seemingly impossible Twitter ratio of one like to 30 replies for this preposterous take:
Suspended? Rob Gronkowski needs to get arrested for this hit. A blow to the back of the head of a player that’s on the ground is a good way to kill somebody. That’s assault with intent and he needs to be taken away in handcuffs and locked in a cell. https://t.co/5WjH42c85f— Aaron B Brown (@AaronBBrown) December 4, 2017
And … yeah … this guy went there:
If a black player on the Cowboys did this (or publicly partied like Gronk) he’d get suspended long term. Let’s see what Park Ave does... https://t.co/AGHuEmu7Kh— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) December 3, 2017
The vast majority of the social media reactions were reasonable, such as the calls for a one-game suspension or a hefty fine. Those are the most likely outcomes. But here’s a sampling of some others who also temporarily lost their minds with their Gronk takes:
I don't really have a taek here; it just seems to me that Mr. Gronkowski should not be allowed to play football for a while after that move.— Doug Farrar (@BR_DougFarrar) December 3, 2017
Gronkowski assaulted a man today. If he is not in a uniform on an NFL field he goes to jail for what he did. Nothing about this is justifiable and a suspension should be the only acceptable action. This isn’t coming from a Bills fan, it’s coming from someone who loves the game— Dakota (@dakotafarr) December 4, 2017
Gronkowski should be banned for life. At the very least, banned for the remainder of this season/playoffs/Super Bowl and ALL of next season. He concussed a completely defenseless player. NFL needs to make an example out of him.— Kosta (@finnllow) December 4, 2017
Gronkowski should be banned for the entire season for that hit. Whatever punishment Roger Goodell decides to give him, I got 500 bucks that says it will be the wrong decision. He makes the wrong decision every single time.— wylie coyote (@coal204) December 4, 2017
I like Rob Gronkowski but if Ezekiel Elliott gets suspended 6 games for domestic violence, Gronk should be suspended at least that many games for purposefully giving another person a concussion.— Preston (@PHarr13) December 4, 2017
Rob Gronkowski should be FIRED and banned from the NFL for his hit on White!it was deliberate ASSAULT that could have broken White's neck! THAT is not sports but it is the NFL! They are overpaid thugs paid to BRAWL for "SPORT"! SHOULD NOT GO UNPUNISHED!— Bill Godfrey (@BillnShari) December 4, 2017
@NFL Gronkowski should be suspended for 4 games to send a message to other players. Kids look up to him and we don’t need this type of example for them. Patriots get off the hook all the time. The Steelers breath and they are fined or suspended or both— Bob (@dustoff2) December 4, 2017
It’s fair to note that it was also entirely unreasonable for anyone to suggest that the hit was justified, or that White and the Bills deserved it, or that Gronk didn’t do anything wrong. He made a very cheap, dirty move. You should at least be able to admit that much.
But if A.J. Green avoided a suspension for mauling Jalen Ramsey, and Kiko Alonso didn’t get suspended for torpedoing Joe Flacco in the helmet, then it really shouldn’t shock anyone if Gronk only gets a big fine for the hit. You can expect the above people to be quite upset when that news comes out.
Clearly, Gronk should at the very least be fined. A one-game suspension wouldn’t get an argument here. But come on, people. Some of you need to get a grip.
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for 985thesportshub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at email@example.com.