New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski: Joking or Racially Insensitive?

With the Richie Incognito thing happening (he recently assuaged the truth in an interview with Jay Glazer saying Jonathan Martin threatened to kill his whole family which turned out to be just a meme Martin sent him), you’d think football players would avoid any jokes remotely to do with race for the time being. Turns out that’s not the case. At least with New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Gronk was at Bar Louie Restaurant in Foxborough, MA last Sunday hosting a Q&A when people started dancing. Including an Asian dude in a Gronk jersey.

The Pats tight end, acting surprised, said into the mic, “They told me he could only cook fried rice!” Because he’s Asian. Then he called his fan “Leslie Chow” after Ken Jeong’s character from The Hangover. Presumably because that’s the first Asian character that popped into his mind.

A few people thought this was racially insensitive including one person to Gronk’s left that took the mic and reminded everyone they signed a waiver agreeing to hand over all cell phone footage. He must have been praying the footage wouldn’t end up on TMZ or Deadspin. Well, sorry buddy.

What do I think? I don’t know. Whenever people get upset over racially insensitive stuff I first try to figure out if it was actually funny. If it isn’t hilarious and if it isn’t about black people, then I do the black test.

The black test is when you imagine the minority is black and apply a similar stereotype. For example, here I’d imagine the Asian guy as a black guy and instead of Gronk saying, “They told me he could only cook fried rice!,” he says something like, “They told me he could only eat watermelon!” Then I imagine what the crowd reaction would be like. If at least three people in my brain go, “Too far, man. Too far,” then, yea, maybe it was a little racially insensitive.

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10 years ago

The guy’s rocking your jersey and you proceed to making fun of him on a racial level? Ignorant and stupid. If it happened to a group of black people with the watermelon comment he would’ve gotten CALLED OUT. Asian fried rice is delicious – start sticking up for yourselves