As pickleball continues to grow in popularity among athletes, Rob Gronkowski made the bold claim that he would beat legendary quarterback Tom Brady in a match.
When the former tight end appeared on the red carpet at the LuisaViaRoma for UNICEF Winter Gala in St. Barts, many reporters questioned the athlete about Tom Brady. More specifically, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback said that Gronkowski would be “really good” at pickleball.
The 33-year-old went on to confirm, “Yes, I play. I love it.” in regards to the sport and even insisted that he would be able to defeat his former teammate in a game. However, this isn’t the first time the NFL star has claimed he could beat another athlete during a round of pickleball.
When Eli Manning, retired New York Giants quarterback, announced that he was taking up the sport as a hobby, Gronk expressed the sentiments, “I would whoop Eli. No chance.”
With all of this being said, it is most likely a good thing that Gronkowski picked up pickleball, considering he announced his second retirement to ESPN reporter Mike Reiss. “I’m done with football,” he shared.
Rob Gronkowski announces retirement from the NFL
“Love the game. Love the game. And definitely blessed with all the opportunities the game of football has given me and the relationships I’ve made — obviously, here in New England for nine seasons and two down in Tampa for two,” the tight end continued. “But I’m done with football and stepping my feet into the business world, business ventures, and just seeing what’s out there and where I can find my place.”
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Despite Gronkowski’s playful claim that he could beat Brady in a game of pickleball, the two are evidently close and show a true bond with one another. After Gronk announced his retirement, his former teammate sent his love via a social media post.
“Teammate, friend, brother, just a few of the words that come to mind when I think of @gronk,” Brady wrote on Instagram.
He added the sentiments, “Nobody has ever embodied the idea of ‘leaving it all out on the field’ like Rob has throughout his entire career. Every single snap, I knew that no matter how many people you put in front of him, he was going to get to his spot.”
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