Rob Gronkowski donates $1.2 million to renovate Boston playground

Rob Gronkowski may be catching touchdowns in Tampa, but he hasn't forgot about the place where it all started.

The former New England Patriot hand-delivered a $1.2 million check on Friday to renovate the aging Charlesbank Playground in Boston's Charles River Esplanade.

"The Patriots taught me the importance of giving back from the very first day I stepped in that organization," said Gronkowski, via Lisa Kashinsky of the Boston Herald. "A huge shout-out to Mr. Kraft and the Patriots for instilling that into me and showing me the importance of what it's like to give back."

Gronkowski won three Super Bowl titles during his nine years with the Patriots before retiring in 2019. The soon-to-be 32-year-old came out of retirement a year later to join Tom Brady in Tampa, where they won Super Bowl LV with the Buccaneers. Gronkowski re-signed with the Bucs on a one-year, $10 million deal in March.

"A big man with a big heart," said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, who was there to accept the donation. The money will go to the nonprofit Esplanade Association and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation.

A state lawmaker then introduced legislation on Friday to rename the playground after Gronk.

Said Gronkowski: "No matter where I go or where I live, I will always have a special connection to New England and the people who live here."

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