“The People’s Elbow”. For any of you long time pro wrestling fans, you know the legendary move executed by The Rock. In the ring, it was one of the most exciting moves. That said, it has no place in the National Football League.
What Rob Gronkowski did on Sunday is ridiculous to fathom in the NFL. He was having a stellar game, pulling in 9 receptions for 147 yards. The Patriots were up 23-3 with under 5 minutes to play. The game was clearly won. Stud rookie cornerback Tre’davious White picked off a Tom Brady pass. He rolled out of bounds, Patriots receiver Phillip Dorsett touched him, and then… Gronk delivered “the People’s Elbow” straight to the back of Tre White’s head.
For those that wanna argue the play should not result in suspension, go watch the play again. White was clearly out of bounds and had already been touched to ensure that he was down. The hit to White landed right on the back of his neck and head. The NFL has placed extra emphasis on protecting the head of players. Yet, when the officials of the game (Gene Steratore and crew) had an opportunity on behalf of the NFL, to protect a defenseless player’s head, they refused to eject Gronk.
Gronk stands at 6’6″ 265 pounds. Tre White is listed at 5’11” 176 pounds. White, an unsuspecting player, received a blow to the head from a large man. Gronkowski launched himself onto a much smaller player, targeting his head by way of his forearm/elbow.
Tre White is now in concussion protocol. He looked woozy after the play. He was having a stellar rookie season. His name is mentioned in the Defensive Rookie of the Year discussion. To make matters worse, Gronk was not even penalized because the referees threw offsetting personal fouls after the play.
Traumatic Brain injury is not something to mess around with. After sustaining a concussion, the lingering effects can become catastrophic. Players may suffer post-concussion syndrome for months, even years. Tre White may never be the same. Of course, it was one hit, and many believe he will recover fine. However, that does not mean that his career is safe.
Think about it, in a rage, given his size and strength, Gronkowski has the possibility to end another player’s career. I do not want to hear that it was years of frustration of being held and interfered with that led Gronk to this point. The hit was stupid, barbaric, and selfish. It’s time the NFL puts its money where its mouth is on its concussion/player safety stance.
Coach Bill Belicheck told Bills Coach Sean McDermott the hit was bull**** after the game. Then, when asked by the media, he stated he did not really see the play. Former Patriots player, Rodney Harrison, said “you do that on the streets, you are going to jail”.
The NFL better take the necessary action. Anything less than a suspension is a joke.