Rob Gronkowski apologizes for mocking Asian fan, says, ‘I feel bad’ (video)
Rob Gronkowski has apologized for insensitive comments he made during a recent public appearance where he appeared to mock a fan’s Asian heritage. The comments were caught on video (below) and originally posted online by TMZ.
In the video, Gronkowski makes fun of an Asian man who begins dancing during a Q&A session at Bar Louie Restaurant in Foxborough, Mass., while wearing a Gronkowski jersey.
After Gronkowski leads the crowd with chants of “Joe! Joe! Joe!”, he can be heard saying, “They told me he could only cook fried rice,” before referring to the man as “Leslie Chow,” the character portrayed by Ken Jeong in the “Hangover” films.
Speaking the first time with the media since the video was published, the New England Patriots tight end expressed regret for his offensive comments.
The video that sparked the entire controversy (via TMZ):
On Thursday, referring to Joe as a “good guy and a friend,” (more on that later), Gronkowski said he felt bad about the entire ordeal.
“I feel bad, personally. I feel bad,” Gronkowski said, according to an ESPN.com report. “I talked to [the fan], and he assured me that he took no offense in any way. I know others did, and I apologize to those who took offense.”
Gronkowski refused to comment any further, but TMZ caught up with the fan in question earlier this week and Joe (he preferred not to reveal his full name), said he was okay with everything, reportedly telling the gossip site that he thought it was funny and wasn’t offended at all.
Joe tells TMZ that he is in fact a friend of Gronk’s as the tight end suggested and they have known each other for about a year.
Joe tells us, he feels partly responsible for the firestorm around the fried rice joke because he hammed up his dance moves for the camera, and generally acted silly when he probably shouldn’t have.
Joe says he reconnected with Gronk Wednesday night at an autograph signing, and the tight end expressed regret over the whole incident — but as far as Joe is concerned, it’s all water under the bridge.
It appears that all’s well that ends well. But one final note warrants a brief mention: TMZ’s choice of headline for the article about Joe’s reaction to everything? “Gronkowski’s Asian Fan: No Hot & Sour Feelings After Fried Rice Joke.”
Bravo, TMZ. As always, keeping it classy.