In case you have been living under a rock, Rob Gronkowski was suspended for 1 game for this late hit on Tre’Davious White.
[youtube video_id=”iPijNKg7TPk” style=”no-style” position=”middle”]
As you can see, Gronk put a shoulder into the back of Tre’Davious’s helmet after White intercepted the pass targeted for Gronk. This hit resulted in a concussion. Gronk did admit he lost his cool and apologized. Props to Gronk for that.
Retribution from the NFL came swiftly as they announced that Rob would be suspended for 1 game. I think this was unexpected by most as usually late hit blows to the head are received with a hefty fine and there has been a little bit of static to the NFL from the fans and the media for the harsh penalty.
Rob Gronkowski is appealing the decision and I think he should reconsider for several good reasons.
I do agree that Rob is for the most part a model citizen when it comes to dirty play. I am not sure if he has ever been fined for anything in the league. However, most late hits in the game happen in the heat of the moment. An example of such hits would be a defenseless receiver has caught a pass over the middle made contact with a defender, and is going down to the turf when the safety comes over and gives him a blow to the head. Another would be a late QB slide and the defender still has a chance to let off but does not and tattoos the QB that gave himself up.
This hit by Gronk is not the same type of thing. The interception happened, the play was blown dead seconds tick by and Rob is pissed that White was basically riding him like a prison bitch across the field which was the reason for the interception. Rob then turns around and decides to exact vigilante justice in return and its not just a flying pancake tackle, its a blow to the head. This hit was calculated. Everyone on the field knew White was down and the play was long over.
The NFL in its efforts to make the game safer due to 4 billion dollars in payout settlements for retired players suffering from illness due to repeated concussions really has no choice but to suspend Rob for a game. I in no way think Rob is a dirty player, but the NFL flatly cannot have this happen on the football field.