The vast majority of people seem to agree with the NFL’s decision to suspend Rob Gronkowski one game for the cheap shot he threw at Buffalo Bills defensive back Tre’Davious White, but one member of the New England media believes White deserved what he got.
Scott Zolak, a former Patriots quarterback who now does color commentary for the team and hosts a show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, was pleased with Gronkowski after the tight end drove his shoulder into White’s head on a dead ball.
“Good. Good for him,” Zolak said, as you can see on a video shared by ESPN.com. “You want to hold him the whole way?”
Replays did appear to show that White was grabbing Gronkowski all the way down the field, and Tom Brady later said that Gronk gets held all game. Still, Zolak has faced a ton of criticism for applauding a cheap shot on a defenseless player. He tried to clarify his stance on Twitter, acknowledging that it was a dirty play from Gronkowski but noting that the “guy can only take so much.”
To be clear .. dirty hit…should get fined..called games for 6 years & the league can't cover him nor can refs ref @RobGronkowski..he's worked a ton to not push off & gets hosed. Time to look deeper l. Guy can only take so much
— Scott Zolak (@scottzolak) December 4, 2017
Not getting a flag that you may have deserved is not an excuse for what Gronkowski did. If the officials aren’t going to call holding, defenders are smart to grab someone as big and imposing as Gronk. Heck, even Bill Belichick appeared to condemn the hit when he shook hands with Bills coach Sean McDermott.
Zolak is a fan favorite in New England and a big-time homer, so his stance is not a surprise. He’s also consistently taunted Roger Goodell since the whole debacle with Deflategate. The guy knows how to play to his audience.