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Two hip-hop stars say they were accused of defecating near pool on Rob Gronkowski Party Cruise 04.10.17 at 12:14 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski didn't host another party cruise this winter. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

Rob Gronkowski didn’t host another party cruise this winter. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

The fallout from Rob Gronkowski’s Party Cruise is still being felt one year later.

In a recent interview with TMZ, hip-hop artists DJ Whoo Kid and Wacka Flacka Flame said they’re banned from Norwegian Cruise Lines after being blamed for a prank that unfolded on the Gronk Ship. It stinks for all involved –– literally.

“Somebody pooped behind the pool and put a $20 bill on the poop,” DJ Whoo Kid said. “Whoever did it knew where the cameras where, because security couldn’t find out who did it. They did leave the $20 bill out of respect for the person who was cleaning.”

Despite a successful trip to the Bahamas last year, the Gronkowski Cruise didn’t take off this winter. Rob Gronkowski’s brother, Glenn, implied last year there were too many shenanigans on-board to host another one again.

The NFL also investigated the S.S. Gronk to see if the league gambling policy was violated. It found no wrongdoing.

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Report: NFL players say Rob Gronkowski is held to double-standard 04.06.17 at 12:22 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski guzzled down Bud Lights at the Patriots' parade this year. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Rob Gronkowski guzzled down Bud Lights at the Patriots’ parade this year. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

While Rob Gronkowski enjoys another shenanigans-filled offseason, some NFL players are reportedly wondering why he doesn’t face more heat.

Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman writes four anonymous players told him recently they think Gronkowski benefits from a double-standard. Each one of them reportedly brought up Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, saying they think he would face public backlash if he acted similarly to Gronkowski. Two years ago, a mother chastised Newton for his flamboyant on-field celebrations in a letter to the Charlotte Observer.

Earlier this year, a columnist in the Orlando Sentinel questioned whether Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was unjustly criticized for pulling down a woman’s bra at Dallas’ St. Patrick’s Day parade, citing Gronkoski’s ability to get away with promiscuous acts. The NFL is currently investigating Elliott for domestic violence, which may explain why his behavior is scrutinized more heavily.

Gronkowski’s recent appearances at WWE’s WrestleMania and Red Sox Opening Day have appeared to reignite this debate. He faced some criticism for throwing a shoulder block at the wrestling event, because he’s just four months removed from back surgery. The Patriots reportedly approved Gronkowski’s cameo beforehand.

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ESPN appeared to cut Dan Le Batard’s mic when he made a joke about Rob Gronkowski and ’69’ 04.04.17 at 9:52 am ET
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When ESPN’s Dan Le Batard made a joke on his radio show Monday about Rob Gronkowski’s obsession with the number “69,” listeners were met with dead air.

According to Le Batard’s staff, producers monitoring the Miami-based program in Bristol made the decision to dump the quip. This propelled Le Batard to rant against ESPN management.

“Really? Gronk’s making those kind of jokes all the time! I got dumped in Bristol for that?,” Le Batard asked. “Wait a minute! Does Gronk have more journalistic freedom than I do? It’s okay for Gronk to reference the number between 68 and 70, but not me?”

Le Batard’s brief diatribe was a rare “breaking down the fourth wall” moment on ESPN programming. Even though ESPN is a Disney-owned company, it’s surprising that mild innuendo apparently isn’t allowed on the network’s airwaves.

But in defense of management, few jokes are lamer than quips about Gronkowski and “69.” Maybe Le Batard’s bosses were doing him a favor when they scrubbed his line from the record.

(Video is from The Big Lead)

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Nothing wrong with Rob Gronkowski’s WrestleMania cameo 04.02.17 at 8:25 pm ET
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Four months after undergoing back surgery, Rob Gronkowski ran roughly 20 feet and delivered a shoulder block. When phrased like that, his appearance at WWE’s WrestleMania Sunday doesn’t seem so bad after all.

Gronkowski, who was seated ringside for the event at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, interfered during a match on behalf of his real-life friend, WWE wrestler Mojo Rawley.

Given Gronkowski’s injury history –– nine surgeries and three back operations since 2009 –– it’s tempting to chastise him for stepping into the squared circle. His rehab from a forearm injury was stalled in 2013 after he body-slammed a friend on the stage of a Las Vegas nightclub. Gronkowski didn’t return until Week 7, and then missed the postseason with a torn ACL.

But these two situations are different. The night club incident took place in February, less than one month after he reinjured his forearm during a Divisional Round bout with the Texans. This time around, Gronkowski underwent back surgery in early December, meaning he’s had several months to recover.

Most importantly, though, Gronkowski didn’t appear to exert all that much energy Sunday. He ran across the ring, threw out his shoulder and then performed a couple of stomps. Running two miles would likely be more physically strenuous.

Of course, there’s a chance Gronkowski could’ve gotten hurt. But according to that logic, players shouldn’t be allowed to partake in any non-football related athletic activities over the offseason. The line between what’s acceptable and unacceptable appears to be arbitrary. For example, it’s unlikely anybody would be in a tizzy if Gronkowski was spotted playing pickup basketball, even though former Yankees third baseman Aaron Boone suffered a season-ending knee injury on the hardwood 14 years ago.

The video of Tom Brady wiping out on a ski jump earlier this year is far more alarming than Gronkowski’s WrestleMania cameo. If anything, it’s encouraging to see him move so well.

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There’s no racial double-standard between Rob Gronkowski and Ezekiel Elliott 03.16.17 at 11:46 am ET
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Rob Gronkowski is perceived as a good-natured party boy. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Rob Gronkowski is perceived as a good-natured party boy. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

There’s no racial double-standard when it comes to the way Ezekiel Elliott’s bra-pulling incident has been portrayed in comparison to Rob Gronkowski’s off-field shenanigans. Context matters, and given Elliott’s alleged history of violence against women, his behavior can’t be excused as harmless debauchery.

At a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dallas last weekend, Elliott exposed a woman’s breast while he was partying on a rooftop. It’s apparent the act may not have been consensual, because the woman slaps away Elliott’s hands when he goes for her cleavage a second time.

Two years ago, Gronkowski was also involved in a breast-touching incident. He buried his face into a woman’s cleavage at a nightclub in Charleston, while she danced with a half-empty bottle of liquor in her hand.

If the female on the receiving end of Gronkowski’s motorboat felt victimized, she didn’t show it. The woman who Elliott touched, however, seemed uncomfortable with his hands on her. The evident differences between the two episodes means they’re not comparable. But that didn’t stop some from trying.

On ESPN’s “First Take” Wednesday, Max Kellerman said he thinks race plays a factor into the way Elliott’s actions were perceived.

“Why are we asking about the double-standard in the first place, given the differences in the set of facts?,” he asked. “We’re asking because it does play into stereotypes. On the one hand, good-natured party guy, who tends to be white –– at least as depicted in popular culture –– versus more menacing.”

Orlando Sentinel columnist David Whitley seems to agree. In an op-ed, he asks his readers to imagine if Gronkowski and Elliott were to switch places.

“Imagine if Elliott’s history included countless displays of public intoxication; videos of him gyrating his pelvis into women; getting naked and exposing himself to a bikini-clad babe in a GQ photo spread; organizing a party cruise where he autographed women’s bottoms, breasts and who-knows-what-else?,” he wonders.

It’s worth noting one of Elliott’s representatives told TMZ Sports the woman wasn’t upset, and continued partying with the Cowboys running back afterwards. But before taking that as gospel, one should consider the source. Also, the woman’s apparent decision to keep hanging with Elliott doesn’t mean she gave him permission to expose her breasts in public. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Rob Gronkowski answers questions at elementary school; Alex Rodriguez signs full-time deal with Fox Sports 03.08.17 at 9:46 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 
World Baseball Classic: Japan vs. Australia, 5 a.m. (MLB)
World Baseball Classic: Taiwan vs. Netherlands, 8 a.m. (MLB)
World Baseball Classic: Netherlands vs. Israel, 10 p.m. (MLB)
MLB: Boston at NY Mets, 1 p.m. (MLB; WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: US vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m. (MLB)
NBA: Detroit at Indiana, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Boston at Golden State, 10:30 p.m. (CSN; ESPN)
NHL: Detroit at Boston, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Miami at Syracuse, 12 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Clemson at Duke, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Penn State at Nebraska, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Saint Joseph’s vs. UMass, 6 p.m. (NESN Plus)
College basketball: Wake Forest at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Oklahoma at TCU, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Georgetown at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Rutgers at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Lehigh at Bucknell, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duquesne vs. St. Louis, 8:15 p.m. (NESN Plus)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Virginia, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Texas at Texas Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: DePaul at Xavier, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB: 

— Rob Gronkowski visited a Massachusetts elementary school on Tuesday to congratulate the students for raising the most money in the statewide One Mission Buzz-Off pediatric cancer fundraiser.

Sheffield Elementary School in Turners Falls raised just under $17,000 for One Mission, a local pediatric cancer charity and 50 people from the school and surrounding community shaved their heads in February. Gronkowski works with One Mission and thanked the school by answering questions from students and posing for pictures.

He was asked about his shoe size, which is 16, said his favorite ice cream is cookies and cream and his pregame snack is chocolate milk and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with smooth peanut butter, not chunky.

When one student asked if he knew Tom Brady, Gronkowski laughed and said “yes.”

Gronkowski also talked about his involvement with the charity since he joined the Patriots.

“I just want to say how incredible it is, how you guys come together as a town, as a school and as a team,” he said. “It’s just like playing football.”

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There’s nothing funny about Rob Gronkowski’s ’69’ jokes 02.27.17 at 4:05 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski appears ready to embark on another wild summer. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Rob Gronkowski appears ready to embark on another wild summer. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Back when Rob Gronkowski was just beginning his NFL career, there was an endearing quality to his sophomoric sense of humor. He seemed to be genuinely juvenile, such as when he told a Spanish reporter “Yo soy fiesta” in response to a question about his post-AFC championship game party plans.

But now, after years of “69” jokes, the act seems fabricated. Gronk has jumped the shark.

The latest Gronkism came over the weekend, when he attended the Daytona 500 for Monster Energy, a sponsor of the NASCAR cup series. In an interview on Fox, Gronkowski tried his damnedest to get one of the Monster Energy Girls to say “69.” It didn’t work out.

“Hey Ashley, what’s your favorite speed limit out there?,” he asked. “I hope it’s somewhere around 70 or something.”

“I am hardcore. I like to go as fast as possible,” she responded, seemingly unaware of Gronkowski’s dimwitted obsession with “69” humor –– if there is such a thing.

There’s this notion that Gronkowski acts spontaneously, often blurting out the first thing that comes to his mind. But that doesn’t give him enough credit. There’s an apparent savviness to Gronkowski’s brand of inanity. At 27 years old, he’s crafted, and profited off, an amiable frat boy persona. Look no further than his line of party limos, which are supposed to bring the “the Gronk Bus experience to you in a Gronk’d up way.” Last year, roughly 800 people set sail on Gronk’s three-day party cruise, paying up to $1,100 for a balcony room.

There’s nothing harmful about Gronkowski’s schtick. But that doesn’t make it entertaining. Within the last couple of years, he’s taped No. 69 on the back of his practice jersey, worn a No. 69 jersey to a Super Bowl parade, almost keeled over in laughter after a reporter said “69” during an interview, and snickered at the podium when talking about his 69th career touchdown. Even Andrew Dice Clay’s routine had more variety.

The moment an act becomes brand-driven, it usually loses its luster. At the Daytona 500, Gronkowski was flanked by the Monster Energy Girls. Not so coincidently, the Gronk party buses are all stocked with Monster Energy drinks. Gronk’s latest “69” joke appears to be nothing more than sponsored content, designed to circulate around the blogosphere.

And that makes it lame. Very, very lame.

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Another ‘Summer of Gronk’ is the last thing Rob Gronkowski needs 02.10.17 at 1:07 pm ET
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Gronkowski caught a career-low 25 catches this season. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Rob Gronkowski caught a career-low 25 passes this season. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

It looks like another “Summer of Gronk” is on the way. But this one may not be as well-received as its previous renditions.

Despite only playing in eight games this season, Rob Gronkowski was the star of the Patriots’ championship festivities this week. He went psychotic during the parade Tuesday, guzzling down Bud Lights and taking off his shirt to party with fans in frigid temperatures. At night, he brought down the house at Foxwoods, and even managed to outlast Rick Ross.

It was an uneventful Super Bowl for Gronkowski, who was sidelined with a back injury. The all-time Patriots touchdown leader underwent another back operation in December, the third of his career. At 27 years old, Gronkowski has experienced at least nine surgeries since 2009.

Entering the playoffs sans Gronk is familiar ground for the Patriots. They’ve been forced to play with him in a limited capacity or without him entirely in five of the last seven years –– perhaps costing them multiple championships. But they were able to pull off a historic comeback Sunday, which could put a damper on Gronkowski’s plans for a five-month stretch of debauchery. For the first time in his career, he appears to be expendable.

Make no mistake: Gronkowski remains the best tight end in football. But he was close to a non-factor this season. Twenty-one of his 25 receptions came within a four-week stretch, and he only caught one pass in two contests without Tom Brady. After Gronkowski was placed on IR Dec. 3, the Patriots went 8-0 with an average margin of victory of 17.25 points. They played their best football when he wasn’t on the field.

Over the last couple of years, it seems as if Gronkowski has operated under a different set of rules than many of his teammates. After suffering a knee injury during the 2015 campaign, the Patriots filed a joint statement with Gronkowski’s family about his status. Hours later, Gronkowski published a video on Bleacher Report, in which he said he wouldn’t return until he’s 100 percent. Bill Belichick goes to great lengths to hide injury information, but with Gronkowski, the Patriots are an open book.

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Rick Ross says he threw up while partying with Rob Gronkowski at 10:06 am ET
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Da Boss couldn’t hang with Gronk.

Hip-hop megastar Rick Ross partied with Rob Gronkowski following the Patriots’ parade Tuesday, tearing up Shrine Nightclub at Foxwoods. According to the Boston Globe, Gronk and his posse sprayed about 45 bottles of champagne into the crowd while Ross performed. It’s unclear whether that happened before or after Ross puked his guts out.

In an interview with Charlamagne Tha God and Andrew Schulz on their podcast, “Brilliant Idiots,” Ricky Rozay said he vomited after mixing liquor with the Gronkowski brothers. But eventually, he picked himself back up.

“I threw up a couple more times and then when I stood back up I felt good as f—,” he said.

Ross has given the Patriots numerous shoutouts in his songs over the years, including his latest single, where he calls Tom Brady his “new neighbor.” With that in mind, don’t be surprised if Rick Ross and Gronk are spotted together again this offseason. They’re a perfect match.

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Rob Gronkowski went psychotic at Patriots parade 02.07.17 at 2:46 pm ET
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Despite missing eight games this season and the entirety of the playoffs, Rob Gronkowski was the star of the Patriots parade Tuesday.

Gronkowski flaunted Mayor Marty Walsh’s drinking ban, guzzling down Bud Lights and spiking them to the ground. It was a repeat of his performance two years ago, which resulted in Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio calling for him to be cited for public alcohol consumption.

Gronkowski was the life of the party at the Patriots parade. (Photo by WEEI.com)

Gronkowski was the life of the party at the Patriots parade. (Photo by WEEI.com)

Never able to turn down a good time, Gronkowski also took part LeGarrette Blount’s dance party on the top of his duck boat.

While dancing and drinking is normal behavior for Gronk, things got weird while the Patriots were approaching City Hall Plaza. The tight end grabbed a Gronk Doll and started, well, you can fill in the rest.

When the duck boats stopped, Gronkowski took off his shirt and started partying with fans in freezing temperatures. Or, in other words, normalcy returned.

“To tell you the truth, I wasn’t even planning on partying,” he said to reporters. “But the fans were asking for it, and I’m giving the fans what they wanted to get. So I partied for the fans. That’s how we do it. That’s how we roll.”

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