I like Rob Gronkowski. Everyone seems to like Rob Gronkowski. But I hate what he did on Sunday, and the NFL should do it too.
Gronkowski must be suspended for his grossly illegal hit on the head of Bills cornerback Tre & White; Davious White.
The blow did not occur during a play within the usual course of a football game. It was a post-whistle upper rope fighting movement that involved throwing 275 pounds at an opponent who was on the ground, and who was not watching. And it resulted in not one, but two hits to the head for Blanco: The initial contact between Gronk's forearm and White's head, and the contact between White's head and the ground.
"If you do something like that to someone on the streets, you're going to go to jail," said Rodney Harrison of NBC during Football Night in America . "He deserves a game to be suspended."
Yes, he does. Maybe two games (reduced to one on appeal). And although many reacted to Rodney's observation by pointing out that most of the things that happen on a soccer field would constitute an badault and / or a battery if they occurred on the streets, Gronkowski's hit on White was not a football move . It was an admitted act of anger and frustration.
The fact that it involved a couple of hits to the head for White and placed the rookie in the concussion protocol makes it even more appropriate for a suspension. In fact, the league suspended Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan earlier this year for a blow that caused a concussion in Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, who arrived before the whistle. The league later suspended Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans for a blind side hit after the whistle. The work of Gronkowski combines the worst aspects of those two moments and calls for a fast and severe discipline.
Given that Patriots coach Bill Belichick admitted to Bills coach Sean McDermott that the maneuver was "bullsh-t", it will be difficult for Belichick to disagree with what the league decides to do. If the league really takes seriously the protection of the players from unnecessary blows to the head, what the league should choose to do to Gronkowski is to suspend him for at least one game. Because there should be no place in the game for the kind of gratuitous violence that Gronkowski faced on Sunday.