BOSTON (CBS) — The Bill Belichick era with the Patriots has been marked consistently by one rule: nobody’s allowed to say anything.
It’s always a surprise, then, whenever a player speaks in public and says more than “it is what it is.”
That was the case on Thursday night in Boston, when star tight end Rob Gronkowski stepped to the microphone as part of the roast of David Ortiz.
The popular format on Comedy Central generally features comedians hurling insults at each other, crossing all sorts of lines in the process. And Gronkowski followed that format to a tee.
In a video posted by Boston.com, Gronk’s entire set is making the rounds on the internet on Friday. Among his jokes and comments that are sure to raise some eyebrows were:
“That superhero, The Falcon [played by Anthony Mackie], that’s the black guy — who can even fly when he’s not being chased by the cops. That’s his superpower.”
“Remember last year when they canceled David Ortiz Bobblehead Night? Allegedly, because the bobblehead was racist and insensitive … like that could ever happen in Boston.”
“Hey Josh [Wolf], I heard why you don’t play football … . Well, do you wanna know why Jews do play football? To get their quarter back, you cheap f—.”
“Adam [Ray], look at those f—— eyebrows, dog. They came from five to seven countries on Trump’s travel ban list.”
“[To Ortiz] Now that you are retired, three f—— strikes mean they kick you out of the country.”
While the jokes were — obviously — just jokes, any time some of those topics are broached, it’s going to draw attention.
TMZ covered the performance with the headline, “GRONK ZINGS JEWS, BLACKS, ‘FAT ASS’ … At Big Papi Roast.” It also caught the attention of The Big Lead and Bro Bible, which noted, “some of the material could be considered by some to be downright offensive.”
Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina led off his Friday column with a thought on Gronkowski’s comedic styling.
“Given the times we’re living in, it will be very interesting to see how this plays out,” wrote Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina. “Expect this story to snowball and get bigger and bigger. It will be fascinating to see how Bill Belichick and the Patriots handle it, if at all.”