In the week leading up to the Super Bowl each year, media outlets from around the world flock to the host city in order to take part in the frenzy. There are hundreds of NFL players and celebrities on hand to take part in the interviews and promote various products or organizations. Sometimes, these appearances can lead to some very odd moments, which is exactly what happened when Rob Gronkowski gave a lap dance to Julie Stewart-Binks, formerly of Fox Sports.
Back in 2016, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers were set to face off in Super Bowl 50, which would cap off the 2015 season. Gronkowski was playing for the Patriots at the time and had just missed out on taking part in this championship game. However, he didn't appear to be overly concerned about the absence, as he showed with his dancing.
The dance, while brief, generated laughter among those on the set and created a significant number of reactions. Some were positive while others painted this incident in a very different light.
here is gronk's very intense lap dance pic.twitter.com/snwsjFgOGd— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) February 4, 2016
Interestingly enough, this was not the only time that Gronk has been seen dancing during Super Bowl week. Footage also surfaced of him back in February 2012 after the Patriots lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. He may have been injured, but that did not prevent the big tight end from erasing the pain of the loss with some loud music and flashing lights.
As he has shown throughout his career, Gronk is a man that loves to dance, whether it's in the middle of a club or on the set of a Super Bowl show. Although this has created questions about what can be considered appropriate.
@BleacherReport but if Cam did this tho?— Kameron Nance (@KamNance12) February 4, 2016
One of the prominent storylines surrounding this dancing video was that Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton could not get away with giving a lap dance to a sports reporter. But why was his name constantly tied to Gronkowski and this act on FS1? One reason is that Newton was the starting quarterback for one of the teams in Super Bowl 50. The other was the ever-changing public opinion.
Throughout the 2015 season in which Newton won MVP, he was routinely criticized for scoring touchdowns and throwing up the "dab." There were parents that actually wrote him letters saying that the celebration was a bad influence on the younger generation. Based on this, there were many on social media wondering why Gronk didn't receive similar criticism for his lap dance.
Times have certainly changed since 2016 when this video aired and when it resurfaced in 2019. As the Broncos and Panthers were preparing for Super Bowl 50, one of the biggest stories was Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.
The former first-round pick was embroiled in controversy due to a pending domestic violence investigation in Dallas, as well as both his agent and marketing agency cutting ties with him in recent weeks. Based on some off-the-field issues, it was inevitable that every action not related to football would be compared to Manziel, and Gronkowski's dance fit that description.
@JordanHeckFF Moreover, I'd be really concerned if I were Gronk's attorney because people sue your behind for stuff like this!— Chauntel Bland (@NotVeryBland) February 5, 2016
Should Rob Gronkowski be concerned after the video surfaced of his dance? It's entirely possible. The reason is that many celebrities and public figures have faced lawsuits in recent years, and there were some individuals on Twitter that believed Gronkowski could be the next one to make headlines.
Was his dance over the line, or was it all in good fun? Everyone in the video appeared to be entertained by this moment, but Chauntel said at the time that Gronk's attorney may not be very happy with his client.
When the video surfaced of Rob Gronkowski giving a lap dance, there were certainly split opinions. Some viewed this as a disgraceful act while others thought it was hilarious and totally on-brand for the Patriots' tight end.
As it turns out, there were actually some others that were simply jealous. They wanted to be the ones on the receiving end of this dance.
@BleacherReport gronkowski is an idiot!— Heath Hayes (@hayes8wyo) February 4, 2016
Whether or not dances like this are allowed in modern society was and is irrelevant to some. The more important aspect is that Rob Gronkowski is someone that invites considerable debate. Is he a genius, or is he a dumb party boy?
Both in 2016 and in 2019, the opinions have been split on the former Patriots tight end. There are many that just look at Gronkowski as a lovable goofball while others see some serious issues with his behavior and personality. Individuals on Twitter had no problems expressing their opinions about him regardless of what they were.
While the video of Gronk only recently resurfaced, the original has existed on social media since 2016. Time may have changed, but the reactions certainly have not. The prominent theme in both instances is that Gronk can get away with a lap dance, but he may be the only one.
For example, multiple individuals on Twitter brought up that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton would have received considerable flak for dancing like this in front of a reporter. Is it a double standard, or is America more willing to criticize Cam?
@sportingnews He is such an idiot............They are all laughing AT you not with you, BIG difference.— SnapperKnowsBest (@SnapperKnows) February 4, 2016
While there were people in the crowd and on the set laughing while Gronkowski was giving a lap dance, this doesn't mean that they were all in support of him. In the eyes of many on social media, the laughter was actually directed at Gronkowski. They didn't want him to take this as confirmation of his actions.
Instead, there were many that wanted the tight end to step back and assess his life/decisions.
SUBSCRIBE to GroupChat, PopCulture.com's official Reality TV podcast! Check it out by clicking here or listen below.
WATI! Hit play and listen to GroupChat's NEW episode 19! We're talking MAJOR Oscar snubs, 'The Bachelor’s epic Champagne Gate, what's going on with a specific 'DWTS' pro's marriage, and Kim Kardashian is catching some heat for what she says she DIDN'T do at a basketball game. Tap play and tune in!