Following a late fourth-quarter interception by Buffalo cornerback Tre'Davious White, who was covering Gronk, the tight end hit White with a late elbow to the neck while the corner was down and out of bounds and the play was dead. Gronk was rightly penalized for unnecessary roughness.
Gronk was apologetic after the victory, but blamed his outburst on his own frustration over what he perceived to be inconsistent officiating.
"First off, I definitely want to apologize to number 27 [White]. I'm not in the business of that," Gronk told reporters. "I mean it was a lot of frustration and I was just really frustrated at that moment and it just happened naturally through emotion and frustration and I just want to apologize to Tre'Davious White. I don't really believe in type of shots like that but, just due to frustration process in a game of football emotions."
"That's a dirty play, man," Micah Hyde said, per ESPN.com. "That's not cool. It's amazing to me that you don't get ejected for something like that. It's crazy. He obviously saw him on the ground. It's like a wrestling move. I don't know -- elbow, shoulder -- I don't know what it was. I saw on the replay it was just a dirty play, man. That's something the NFL talks about all the time about not wanting. If the refs didn't see it live, they had a good chance to see it on the replay. Just a dirty play.
"Just touch him. Put your foot on him. Tackle him. You don't need to drive your shoulder or elbow into him. That wasn't cool. Obviously the game was already -- it was a pretty big margin at that time. There was just no need for that in the game we play."
When asked exactly why he was frustrated, Gronk suggested that he was earning a discriminate amount of penalties.
"I mean, I feel like he was trying to push me a little bit and made the play," Gronkowski continued. "I just don't understand why there wasn't a flag. A couple times in the game. They are calling me for the craziest, craziest stuff ever and it's just like, crazy. I mean, like what am I supposed to do? And then they don't call that, I mean. It was just frustration and that's what happened."