NFL legend Rob Gronkowski has finally addressed the controversy surrounding a viral child using his nickname.
During an appearance at Tight End University in Nashville, Gronk spoke with NFL free agents Taylor Lewan and Will Compton, hosts of Barstool Sports' Bussin' with the Boys podcast, and discussed Madden San Miguel, a 10-year-old football player who gained a massive social media following under the nickname 'Baby Gronk.' Gronkowski, like Compton and many other sports media figures with a large social media following, acknowledged that San Miguel's father, Jake, had reached out to him numerous times about a possible collaboration and expressed his concerns over how the father was marketing his child.
“I see you guys beefing with Baby Gronk’s [dad]. You’re blowing a gasket,” Gronkowski said to Compton -- who had publicly shared a screen grab of messages from Jake San Miguel online -- before acknowledging that he had also been hounded with messages from the former high school football player.
“Yeah, it’s to a point where it’s awkward. It’s too far,” Gronkowski added. “Four weeks ago, my brother told me, ‘Yo, have you seen Baby Gronk?’ ‘Did I see him? ‘ I go. ‘His dad hit me up 500 times already.’ He goes, ‘Don’t do anything.’ The dad is so annoying. And this was like five, six weeks ago. And then all of a sudden, two weeks later, it’s coming out everywhere. My brother died laughing.”
Lewan then told Gronkowski that "the only person that can stop this is you."
"We're gonna have to," Gronkowski responded. "Baby Gronk, you're fine. We are ceasing and [desisting] Baby Gronk's dad."
Earlier this month, fellow future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt also publicly expressed his concerns over the overexposure 'Baby Gronk' has recently received.
"I’ve always said… Kids should play multiple sports and kids should be allowed to be kids," Watt said in response to a Twitter user who said they'd "love to hear" his take on the issue. "I’m not against advanced leagues, better competition, etc. But no kid should be playing one sport all year & no kid should be training “like a pro” until at least HS. They’re kids."
Two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Long, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer and longtime FOX NFL Sunday co-host Howie Long, also criticized San Miguel's approach to having his son go viral during a recent episode of his Green Light podcast.
“I have no problem with profiting off the internet, this is what we’re all doing,” Long said. “But the difference is we’re not using a 10-year-old kid to do it. You gotta be concerned about the toll this is gonna take on Baby Gronk when he’s older.”