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Rob Gronkowski grilled with questions about Deflategate on ESPN (video)

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New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. figured they going to be floated with some easy questions during an appearance on “SportsCenter” regarding how they are the two finalists to be the cover boy on “Madden 16.”

Instead, Jay Crawford ambushed Gronkowski, peppering him with questions regarding the Deflategate controversy and then refusing to leave it alone after the tight end attempted to put the kibosh on that particular line of questioning.

The relevant part of what was supposed to be a promotional appearance on ESPN, as transcribed by Sports Grid’s Jake O’Donnell:

“Well, Tom is the leader of our team and has full support from myself and definitely the organization — as you can see the statements Bob Kraft has been putting out there,” Gronkowski said. “I really don’t have enough information on it and what’s going on. It is what it is. I’m just going watch it and see how it plays out. I mean, I have nothing to do with what’s going on. All I can do is keep focusing on myself and do what I have to do to be a better football player this season.”

Crawford pressed further with his persistent line of questioning, asking Gronkowski about his relationship with equipment managers Jim McNally and John Jastremski.

“Two men in the locker room, Jastremski and McNally, how well do you know them?” Crawford asked.

“You got a lot of questions about that,” Gronkowski quipped. “I thought we were here for the cover vote.”

Crawford: “Did you know them?”

Realizing he wasn’t going to be able to elude the inquisitive, hard-hitting interview that should have been anything but that, Gronkowski responded.

“I know everybody in the locker room for seven months and everyone’s good people in our locker room and in our organization, but lately I have not had a thing to do with what’s going on, and I just have full support of Tom and what’s going on,” he said. “Hopefully when he appeals the suspension gets reduced or taken away, because we definitely want him in the locker room because he is our team leader and he has always been there for everybody else.”

Gronkowski couldn’t have appeared more reluctant to being put on the spot courtesy of Crawford’s ambush, but he deserves credit for remaining patient, even though he was under no real obligation to do so.