BOSTON (CBS) — Rob Gronkowski’s never been afraid of taking his shirt off, but generally, he’s kept his pants on in public. Until now.
The 23-year-old Patriots tight end bared all for ESPN’s annual “Body Issue,” and he appears on one of the covers with only a little logo covering Little Gronk and the Tight Ends.
Other than Gronkowski, the magazine features cover photos of Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, Knicks center Tyson Chandler, tennis player Daniela Hantuchova, WNBA star Candace Parker and MMA fighter Ronda Rousey.
“We had an overwhelming number of truly amazing photographs to choose from this year, which is why there are six covers,” deputy editor Neely Lohmann said on ESPN.com. “We wanted to have as many as we could get because whittling the photographs down to the best of the best isn’t easy. When making the final call, we paid attention to diversity — we like to have a good mix of men and women, a good mix of different body types represented, different sports, etc.”
Lohmann said the decision for a cover photo isn’t made until after a shoot is finished and the editors are looking at the finished products.
“When we see an image that blows us away, something that everyone really responds to, we know it’s going to be seriously considered for a cover spot—no matter who the athlete is,” Lohmann said.
Gronk’s certainly never been shy to be shirtless in public. He famously posed with porn star BiBi Jones last year during the Patriots’ bye week, and he was partying shirt-free after the Patriots lost this year’s Super Bowl in Indianapolis.