BOSTON — An aging playground in Boston will be getting a major upgrade through a $1.2 million donation from NFL star Rob Gronkowski.
The former New England Patriot returned to Boston on Friday to deliver a check for the renovation of the Charlesbank Playground on the city’s Charles River Esplanade. Now a tight end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Gronkowski made the donation on behalf of his Gronk Nation Youth Foundation.
Gov. Charlie Baker was there to accept the gift and thank Gronkowski, calling him “a big man with a big heart.”
The money will go to the nonprofit Esplanade Association and to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation for a full renovation of the playground, which is located near the city’s Museum of Science.
"Donating funds for a playground is my way to give back to the kids for the amazing support that I received while playing in New England," Gronkowski tweeted on Friday with photos of the check. "Excited to start planning it! We’re getting a big slide, kids!!! "
A state lawmaker on Friday introduced legislation to rename the playground Gronk Playground.
Gronkowski said he learned the importance of giving back while he was with the Patriots. He played nine seasons and won three Super Bowls with the team before retiring in 2019. He later came out of retirement to join his former teammate Tom Brady at the Buccaneers.