New England Patriots fans can only hope the focus of the players and coaches is solely on the upcoming game against the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday, Oct. 30; and not on the ridiculous scandal surrounding some innocent photos 22-year-old tight-end Rob Gronkowski took with adult film star Bibi Jones.
While the story about the pictures is titillating to the media, it should be of no concern to a team coming off a bye week that wants to maintain their winning ways after having beaten the Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, and Dallas Cowboys since their unexpected 34-31 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Sept. 25 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
That’s easier said than done, though, as stories such as this tend to get greater traction in the media than they deserve, and sports teams, players, and others often find themselves enmeshed in the subject longer than they’d like.
Gronkowski himself has tried his best to get ahead of the story and quell any further interest in it. However, he’s done a disservice to himself in the way in which he’s done it. As Cindy Boren of the Washington Post reports in one of her latest articles, he’s actually apologized for the whole mess. I firmly believe he’s done nothing wrong, and that by apologizing for it he’s legitimized the criticism of his actions and smeared a young woman in the process.
“I didn’t send anything to hurt the reputation of anyone on the New England Patriots or on behalf of [owner] Robert Kraft,” Gronkowski said. “That’s all, just a simple picture, that’s all. From here on out, I’m just here to talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the big game this weekend.”
The 6-6, 265-pound former Arizona Wildcat, who was selected by the Patriots in with the 42nd pick in the second-round of the 2010 NFL Draft may only want to talk about the Steelers, but according to his teammate Tom Brady he’ll be doing some listening from Bill Belichick over the issue.
“Coach talks to us every time we head out for an extended vacation about our decision-making and so forth,” Brady said. “So, I’m sure he’ll have something to say to Rob.”
If that’s true, I have only one thing to say myself, and that is Belichick needs to keep his trap shut.
As I said above, Gronkowski hasn’t done anything wrong here. He wasn’t involved in any “scandal.” He took a couple of perfectly innocent photos with a woman who just happens to work in the adult film industry. What Ms. Jones does for a living isn’t illegal. She’s not a prostitute, and he never engaged in any illicit activity with her. She’s not underage and he’s not married, or even involved in any serious relationship (and even if he were these were still fairly innocent photos—you can see them here and here).
Sure, Gronkowski is shirtless in one of the photos, but that’s not evidence of anything whatsoever. It’s certainly not an indication he did anything sordid. He’s a muscular guy, and showing off his muscles in a photo is hardly grounds to believe something sexual or immoral is going on in the photo.
The simple fact is, the only reason this whole thing is even an issue is because Ms. Jones is a porn star. To many people in this country that is reason enough for Gronkowski to apologize. However, those people are dead wrong, and they shouldn’t be acquiesced to. Instead, their idiotic (and frankly phony if you ask me) Victorian morality is simply ludicrous, and should be fought against vociferously.
In fact, the manner in which they view Ms. Jones—as if she’s something dirty they got on their shoe stepping outside of their pristine existence—is sickening in many ways; and trust me, that’s exactly how many around this country view her.
Truthfully, this sort of view of Ms. Jones and the profession she’s in are so detestable to me it’s beyond belief. Why? Because everyone knows America loves porn. We often pretend we don’t. We pretend as if we can’t even talk about sex as adults, yet pornography is one of the biggest industries in this nation. In fact, I’d wager (and I have nothing to back this up other than my own feelings) of every 100 people criticizing Gronkowski over this issue, 98 of them have regularly viewed pornography of some sort in their lives.
Now, I won’t say we should be welcoming adult films be aired in prime time, but nether should we be vilifying or viewing those who make it as social pariahs and lepers to the point taking an innocent photo with one of them is cause for an athlete (or anyone for that matter) to apologize for it. That is not only hypocritical, but disgusting in my view.
One of my favorite films is The Contender. It’s a movie about a Senator named Laine Hanson (Joan Allen) who is being chosen by President Jackson Evans (Jeff Bridges) to succeed his vice-president who has died in office. However, a false accusation about a wild and illicit sexual escapade she allegedly took part in while in college surfaces during the confirmation process.
The president’s enemies, including Congressman Shelly Runyon (Gary Oldman) do all they can to smear Senator Hanson in order to torpedo the confirmation, and despite enormous pressure from those around the president, Senator Hanson refuses to even defend herself against the allegations. This is explained in the movie by her as being because the questions shouldn’t have even been asked. Her principle and thought process being that if she even acknowledges the questions she would dignify them as being worthy of having been asked.
In the same manner, Gronkowski should never have been asked to apologize for having taken innocent photos with someone, and that’s why I firmly believe the Patriots’ tight-end was wrong to do so. What he’s done by apologizing is legitimize the criticism he’s received, and smeared a young woman and anyone else who works in the adult film industry in the process. What he’s done, is said—in effect—even being in the same room as a porn star dirties a person in some way.
I truly thought such backward, ignorant thinking was being overcome in our society. It’s sad to see it’s still prevalent in regard to some things.
Hut, hut, hike!