Rob Gronkowski’s Apology Over Photos With Porn Star BiBi Jones Unnecessary, But Shows Pitfalls of Athletes on Twitter

Rob Gronkowski's Apology Over Photos With Porn Star BiBi Jones Unnecessary, But Shows Pitfalls of Athletes on TwitterThere’s nothing wrong with Rob Gronkowski hanging out with a porn star. There’s plenty wrong with him issuing an apology.

After hearing that porn star BiBi Jones tweeted pictures of her and the Patriots tight end, and then later hearing Jones describe the two’s relationship — or lack thereof — on 98.5 The Sports Hub, never did it seem to me that Gronkowski had done something for which he needed to apologize.

But, for some strange reason, the whole situation has become more than a quick story simply pointing out the latest instance of ‘Gronk being Gronk.’ It instead led to him meeting with owner Robert Kraft, after which the second-year pro insisted he never meant to hurt the reputation of the organization.

I could be wrong, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find many people who felt he was hurting the team’s reputation. And while saying that Mr. Kraft was offended by photos would be pure speculation, clearly it was a big enough issue that the two needed to sit down to discuss it.

Hanging out with a porn star on your bye week might seem a bit unconventional, especially when you’re part of the New England Patriots, an organization for which you’re expected to remain on the straight and narrow path. But while Jones might be involved in an industry that’s viewed differently, if not unfavorably by some, when it comes to any wrongdoing, how is Gronkowski posing for a photo with her different than him posing for a photo with a butcher, or a florist, or a waitress, or a teacher, or whatever?

It might be more noteworthy, given Jones’ (somewhat) celebrity status, but she’s not a criminal (not that I’m aware of) or some menace to society (again, not that I’m aware of). And Gronkowski isn’t doing anything incriminating in the photos, making it a bit unclear where he’s diverging from that aforementioned path.

The problem likely lies in that Jones was wearing Gronkowski’s Patriots jersey in the photos posted on Twitter. But, even then, did bringing a jersey into the picture really tarnish the team’s reputation? I’d venture to say no, but Gronkowski’s apology indicates there was a sense amongst the higher-ups that he was a bit out of line with his bye-week behavior.

Sure, photos of Gronkowski with his head buried in a playbook or running sprints at a local high school field might have been a bit more welcomed by Mr. Kraft and Co. But we’ve got to look at the situation for what it is: a real-life, young, popular professional football player enjoying his week off.

It’s easy to understand Kraft wanting to keep tabs on his players, but the whole fiasco is such a non-issue from a football perspective that it’s difficult to imagine why Gronkowski came under the gun.

Once the Patriots square off with the Steelers on Sunday, the entire debacle will be placed on the back burner back, and it’ll be back to business for the Pats. But a similar situation can and will arise with another athlete. It might not be photos with porn stars, but we’ll surely see some athlete catch heat from his team for something posted on Twitter.

Twitter offers a unique glimpse into an athlete’s world — the world we don’t typically see. But with that luxury comes situations in which some fans, or employers, get offended. If a team feels that risk is far too high, it should implement clearly laid-out guidelines for Twitter use. Or people should stop getting offended — but that’s a lot to ask.

Until we see the wheels put in motion on such changes, though, there shouldn’t be any reason for teams to get up in arms over harmless photos.

If BiBi Jones suddenly shows up on the Patriots’ sideline, then the Pats might have a reputation problem. For now, let Gronk be Gronk. No apologies necessary.

Yardbarker

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 185,906 other followers