Posted November 12, 2013

Video: Rob Gronkowski mocks Asian fan at watch party

NFL
Rob Gronkowski's chances of playing in Week 4 don't look good.  (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has a reputation for partying hard. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Richie Incognito and Riley Cooper are among the NFL players who have come under fire for racially insensitive incidents this year. Rob Gronkowski may be next.

TMZ has posted a video of the Patriots tight end mocking an Asian fan. (See below.) The incident was reportedly filmed during a fan event last weekend. Gronkowski was scheduled to attend a watch party Sunday at Bar Louie in Foxboro.

When an Asian man wearing a Gronkowski jersey began dancing, the Pro Bowler said into the microphone: “They told me he could only cook fried rice.” Gronkowski later referred to the Asian fan as “Leslie Chow” after Ken Jeong’s character in The Hangover.

FARRAR: Richie Incognito defends his actions toward Jonathan Martin

The remarks caused an event organizer to grab the microphone and remind those in attendance that they all signed waivers agreeing to hand over all cell phone footage.

Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Ballard chronicled Gronkowski’s partying ways last year


113 comments
John S4
John S4

Even though the Asian guy laughed it off, he may have felt differently inside.  Relatively speaking, Gronkowski is a  huge celebrity and this was in front of everybody.  As a black man, I'm not sure how I would have handled a similar "fried chicken" comment in person.   What's he supposed to say or do in that moment?  The crowd is most likely going to side with Gronk, at any rate.


While I do occasionally enjoy racial humor and can laugh at any race, including my own, I did not find these comments to be the least bit funny.  

BinkMiller
BinkMiller

I recently viewed an interview with Gronkowski and thought he was a nasty idiot. This doesn't surprise me. He must have some sort of personality or ego issue. He paws women and makes fun of people, don't like him. Needs to keep his hands in his pockets and his mouth shut.

12rhodes
12rhodes

I am a die hard patriots fan and appreciate everything that Gronk has done for my team.  I am asian as well, and anyway you f-----g slice it, it is racist.  What if it was a black guy dancing, and Gronk said, "They told me he could only fry chicken!, Buckwheat ladies and gentlemen!"  I can assure you, Sharpton would be all over it.  Am i going to stop watching the pats and root for Gronk?, heck no! i will give him a pass because I have made off hand comments like that myself.  I dont how many times I have heard stupid crap like that because I am asian.  "Do you know karate? Hey, where is the rice section?, is that a chinese calculator?" You can think it, but i dont need to hear it. 

RobertDowner
RobertDowner

WOW so much hate...at one point in this country people could laugh. A few things I noticed watching this. First off the Asin guy looked to be have a great time...If this were half as bad as most of you are making it you would be able to tell. Second yea it was a dumb joke but it was a joke man if we keep going in this country we will never be able to laugh. Gronk is not a racist he likes to laugh its that simple. My god the people I worrie about are the ones who make MUCH worse comments out of anger and hatred. And before you all jump me...Im about as left leaning as you will find but I also look at it this way. When you go after something like this...when you keep crying wolf...you then make it harder to call out the REAL racists.....heres an idea...relax and laugh once in awhile....all this hate from both sides really wheres on you....

frymanation
frymanation

What a dumb video, and story. You will have to pry the phone out of my hand, i signed Leslie Chows name on my waiver so I am not legally responsible for anything!

DSM
DSM

Given that NFL players have been prized for their aggression and treated like Gods since middle school, is it any surprise so many of them are such conceited, bullying jerks?

jefrok
jefrok

This was during a public event with dozens in attendance.  I could only imagine what he says in a private setting.   The people who say it is no big deal are the ones that are making the same comments and probably worse.  Great job SI for exposing this racist idiot.  I remember when Jason Williams(NBA) made racial slurs towards an Asian Fan during a game and SI was one of the few to report it.  I applaud SI for doing right thing by exposing the racism that sadly exists in our society.  

http://www.baywindows.com/sacramento-kings-player-fined-15k-after-hurling-racist-anti-gay-invective-at-a-fan-67485

Tatonka_Smith
Tatonka_Smith

The remarks caused an event organizer to grab the microphone and remind those in attendance that they all signed waivers agreeing to hand over all cell phone footage.


Best part of the story

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

What a total racist bigot scumbag, but it's typical of NE players and their fans.

dg2
dg2

Doesn't matter if he was Asian or not.

Guy was wearing your jersey...don't forget the fans pay your paycheck.

johlee991
johlee991

Part of the problem is that nobody is scared of Asians.  If Gronk made the equivalent statements against a black person, NAACP would have had his head, but there is no inherent fear of Asian people like white people and black people, and there probably never will be.  However, this is a great video showing people's true colors.  The fact that they tried to conceal this ever took place is shameful.  This is who Gronk.  An idiot with a body built for football.  Slightly racist, but isn't everybody?

djp9
djp9

I am non-visible white minority married to an Asian born here just for context.

She thought the jokes were dumb but not offensive. Of course maybe that's because she's a Pats fan lol.

But seriously,.........oh wait, he WAS joking!

Lets unwind our panties everyone. The guy was a dancing fool, can we all agree on that? If so then isn't he allowing for some good-natured humor at his expense? Sorry but have we become so PC that a private, non cursing, non vulgar, semi-stereotyped joke becomes this big a deal? 

sayno2pc
sayno2pc

Yep, it's clearly insensitive, racial, in poor taste, and not even that funny.  They're also all drinking at a bar where this kind of thing is pretty much the norm, for better or worse.  If you're not into the stupidity of the bar culture, which is part of the allure for some, you don't go.  If you don't have thick skin an the ability to tolerate drunk or ignorant people, this type of atmosphere isn't for you.  This guy isn't on a podium in church, he's at a drunkfest.  As a public figure, he should know better, but you know these guys are all dumb jocks, right?  Oh I'm sorry, was that politically incorrect?  There goes my chance to work for MSNBC!  

philip.thomas82
philip.thomas82

Isn't it funny how most people who say it's not racist or that he's just joking are WHITE?

And nice work Gronk - mock a guy wearing your jersey and obviously a fan with a lame, unfunny, tasteless joke but given the mouth this is coming from, it's no surprise

Make fun of the guy's dancing or whatever, that's fine. Making fun of the guy for being Asian is the very epitome of racist. This isn't having thick skin or being too PC, this is calling a spade a spade

BarrySoetoro
BarrySoetoro

M Wong would you care to describe black people as most Asians do??

MichaelWong
MichaelWong

I run into a lot of people who think it's just good fun to racially stereotype Asians or other visible minorities.

Strangely, they seem to find it much less amusing if someone says that southern white people are all gun-toting FOXNews watchers who are morbidly obese, live in trailer parks, marry their cousins, hate black people, and think the Bible is a science textbook.  I guess it's just good fun when someone is peddling stereotypes of OTHER socio-ethnic groups, right?

GodsGift
GodsGift

Where was the racism? People need to pull the stick out of thier azzes and loosen up. No wonder we are the laughing stock of the world right now. We have a lot more important issues to worry about than this non-issue

History
History

This story is a NON-story.     I was expecting Gronk to have said something much worse.

The "victim" of his remarks didn't seem offended.

However Gronk should keep a low profile where ever he goes since the media is always trying to take him down.

Jackhole
Jackhole

I think people think that this is NOT a big deal because it happened only once but it happens ALL THE @$^#%%#$ time. It's not from just 1 person or1 isolated event, whether it's for the lack of driving skills or the fact that Asians are good in math. All these stereotypes are all over the place and to hear this crap when you don't want to gets a little old, in fact it really pisses me off.

I always hear this excuse... oh it's just a joke... they were just having fun... man, you need to just go with the flow.


These excuses may work if it happened every once in a while but this crap happens more than you know or want to know. But you wouldn't know that because you have no idea what I'm taking about or better yet, I'm being overly sensitive.

andreww2
andreww2

I asked my asian friend if this made his people mad and he said they were more worried about smog than Rob Gronkowski

Robert142
Robert142

The pc police are going to sanitize everything.  I'm guessing the Asian Gronk fun loved every minute of it.

Zz2
Zz2

Don't you guys know?  Racism against yellow people is OK.  If it's against blacks, jews, mexicans, or anyone else, it's outrageous though!!!

remosu37
remosu37

It's rather ironic that many of the same people who argue that Martin should fight back against Incognito are the same one that act all indignant when Asians argue that making racist jokes about them should be socially unacceptable.

jbc123
jbc123

Anyone who really  thinks this is some kind of big deal needs professional help for you guilt issues.  It's Gronk,at a bar,on an off week, get a grip!  If it offends you, don't watch Patriots games, don't buy Gronk shirts, and for Gods sake, don't go to Bar Louie! This was on TMZ and you needed subtitle to 'understand' what was going on. SI should really be ashamed to run those misleading headlines.

closetjaysfan
closetjaysfan

Im actually kinda surprised that no one has pointed out the "blackface" attempt in the picture above.

closetjaysfan
closetjaysfan

Looks like the event organizer was the only one using their brain that evening.

Jim347
Jim347

Why is it OK for other comedians to say this stuff for 2 hours a night, insulting one person or group after the other and no one cares? This is a bullshot story, leave him alone he was at a party and having fun who cares?

t001z
t001z

This is racially insensitive?  Really?  This is over-sensitive society crap -- give me a break.  SI, how do you dare place this in the same paragraph with Incognito and Cooper?

jefrok
jefrok

@12rhodes I totally agree with you.  Its just so sad that there are so many ignorant people that don't see this incident as a problem.  

BinkMiller
BinkMiller

If you are Asian this isn't funny. Gronkowski has had some personal problems lately and should be acting more civilized.

jefrok
jefrok

@RobertDowner You have to realize that these type of comments lead to bigger comments fueled out of anger and hatred.  Its not crying wolf.  Its exposing an ignorant and insensitive comment for what it is RACISM.  You even admitted it was a dumb joke.  Why was it dumb? 

BinkMiller
BinkMiller

@DSM Agree and that has to change. They are not gods, they are bullies.

Tatonka_Smith
Tatonka_Smith

@djp9 When do we get to line up and crack jokes about your wife?  I'm sure we will all just be kidding around.  Just a little good-natured humor directed at your wife...

lightoftruth3
lightoftruth3

@MichaelWong 

I personally don't think it's OK to stereotype anyone. I'm French and I get a lot of "cheese-eating surrender monkey" stereotyping, which is NOT OK to me, ever. Then the bullies insist that I should take it. To me, that makes people like Incognito the typical villain: not only what he said was extremely offensive, but then he expects you to "take it" and "accept second-class status". But with Gronk's light-hearted comment directed towards a fan of his, and given his demonstrated level of immaturity, I do think that this story is a pass.


philip.thomas82
philip.thomas82

@GodsGift where's the racism? Oh I don't know, maybe the bit where he mocked him for being Asian. Please tell me you're not this stupid

jefrok
jefrok

@History How do you know he wasn't offended.  Did you ask him?  So if I walk up to a black guy and call him the N word and if he isn't offended its okay.  If he is making these racist comments in public, imagine what he is saying when he's at home with friends.  You really need to take a class on racism in America.  

jefrok
jefrok

@jbc123 Proffessional help???? So you think it's okay to use the N word if you are a bar.  Why don't you try it a your local bar next to a big black guy and see what happens.  When a racist isn't exposed, they will continue the ignorance.  People like you are the reason racism still exists.  I applaud SI for exposing Gronks true colors. 


mishmosh
mishmosh

@Jim347 I agree.  He had a mic and was trying to be funny--just like a comedian doing a standup.  I give him a pass on this one.  Non-story.

goosedude
goosedude

@t001z Yes....his comments are racially insensitive. If you dont' see that....maybe you are as ignorant as Gronk.

BinkMiller
BinkMiller

@lightoftruth3 @MichaelWong I am a strong tall blond Jew who has played sports all through school. I got an incredible amount of hazing. I have always hated bullies and Gronkowski is a bully. He picks on women too and that just makes me mad.

GodsGift
GodsGift

Wow you think that's racism? Not being allowed to vote, not being able to use the same restrooms as whites, riding on the back of the bus. Getting tarred and feathered...that's racism. This is a group of people having fun and joking around, Buzz Killington! Last time I checked nobody came out and complained about this. Please tell me YOU'RE not this naive and stupid??? But since you are, you prob won't :/

Wojo1
Wojo1

@goosedude @t001z Hey Dude, the geese don't like you using their name..........Get a life , he's having fun and so is the Asian guy. You sure weren't nice calling t001z ignorant, that's pretty insensitive on your part.................

BinkMiller
BinkMiller

@Kevin59 @Wojo1 @goosedude @t001z  Exactly! Because the joke was aimed at an Asian it's ok? No, it is not ok to make fun of anyone, especially women or people who can't or won't defend themselves. It is never ok to be a bully or get a laugh at someone's expense. NFL players are out of control lately and I think that is why these stories are coming out. They have to change. They are not special anymore. They look ignorant.

Kevin59
Kevin59

@Wojo1 @goosedude @t001z Let me put this in a way I think you can actually understand.  If it had been a black man instead of an asian man and Gronk had said something like "they told me he was only good at eating fried chicken,"  I guarantee that this story would have made ESPN and people would be in an uproar about it.  Whether that hypothetical or this particular situation is the product of an oversensitive and politically correct society is besides the point.  The point, if you will, is that we live in the world we live in, and in this world NFL football players have demonstrated a significant lack of tact.  Gronk is not helping matters by throwing out racist remarks in public into a microphone.  And to address some of the other comments comparing him to a comedian...he is not a comedian, he is a football player and his job is not to entertain crowds by cracking racist jokes at the expense of a fan.