Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was at the Barnes & Noble in the Prudential Center on Thursday with his father, four brothers, and author Jeff Schober to autograph copies of the new book, “Growing Up Gronk: A Family’s Story of Raising Champions.”
But before he faced eager fans, Gronkowski was pressed about the arrests of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard.
“I’ve got no reaction at all,” Gronkowski said. “I have no reaction at all, I’m just here about the book.”
On June 26, Hernandez was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Odin Lloyd, as well as multiple gun charges. He was released by the Patriots that day.
On Thursday morning, Dennard was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Nebraska, according to Lincoln police.
When asked about the NFL’s handling of players’ off-field activities, Gronkowski deferred to commissioner Roger Goodell.
“You got to ask Roger,” he said. “He’s been in the business for a while. Roger that.”
Gronkowski, who underwent back surgery June 18 to repair a herniated disk, wore a T-shirt and jeans, and it appeared he was not wearing a back brace. The estimated recovery time from the surgery is 12 weeks.
“I can tell you this, I’m in great spirits and I’m enjoying life a lot more,” said Gronkowski.
Gronkowski is from an incredibly athletic family. His father, Gordon, was an offensive lineman at Syracuse University. Three brothers also play football: Dan, 28, is a tight end for the Cleveland Browns; Chris, 26, is a fullback for the San Diego Chargers; and Glenn, 20, is a fullback at Kansas State University.
The eldest brother, Gordie Jr., 30, starred on the baseball diamond at Jacksonville University.
Rob said there are no secrets to his family’s success in athletics.
“It’s dedication, it’s mental toughness,” he said.
Each brother has his own chapter in the book.
“It’s about growing up and how we went through the process and how we made it to where we are now,” Rob said. “And how all five of us brothers, even if we didn’t get a full scholarship out of high school, how we worked for it in order to get a full scholarship. It’s a great process and it will be cool when we’re getting a lot of good reactions.”