Rob Gronkowski opened up for the first time about former New England Patriots teammate Aaron Hernandez in a brief response on the "10 Questions with Kyle Brandt" podcast.
Gronkowski, 31, has stayed quiet since fellow tight end Hernandez was arrested on murder charges and suspended from the team in 2013. Hernandez was found guilty of killing Odin Loyd in 2015. He died by suicide while in jail in April of 2017 at the age of 27.
Gronkowski addresses Hernandez situation
Brandt asked Gronkowski, who was on the show with his girlfriend Camille Kostek, how much that stays with him eight years later. The current Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end gave a brief response, his first about it since it happened.
"Aaron was a great player. He was a great football player. But, I mean, I get questions like that all the time about him and everything. And with everything going on, I was definitely shook when I heard that, when I heard everything about it. Because being his teammate and everything and you just, you really don't see that. You're not really looking into players like 'that's who they are' or 'that's what they're doing.' But just overall I just try to keep it simple and light. He was a great football player but that does not mean anything. You learn from other people, too."
Gronkowksi and Hernandez were a dynamic duo at tight end and were both 2010 NFL draft picks by the Patriots.
A month after Hernandez was charged, Gronkowski was doing media to promote his book. When asked about his teammate during an interview with "CBS This Morning," Gronkowski declined to answer. His family was in the interview with him and had some awkward laughter before Gronkowski attempted to walk off the set.
Hernandez was the subject of a 2020 Netflix docuseries, “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez," that took a deep dive into the incident, charges and aftermath. It also dove into Hernandez's life before getting to New England.
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