The New England Patriots showered Rob Gronkowski with love after he announced his retirement, but his longtime girlfriend, Camille Kostek, left what was arguably the sweetest message of them all.
“You motivate me to be better, you show me that limits can be pushed and that challenges make you stronger,” the entertainment reporter, 27, captioned an Instagram slideshow of photos with the former tight end, 29, on Sunday, March 24. “If you ask me, you’re the best to ever do it. There is nothing like the thrill of watching you play. I love you with all my heart, you allow me to take the term ‘proud girlfriend’ to a new level.”
She continued, “For all the people that have come up to us to tell you they are your biggest fan, I quietly smile because I know I’m yours and I will continue to root you on in all that you do WE LOVE YOU PATS NATION & @patriots !!!! #retirement #87 #HallOfFamer.”
Kostek shared a similar sentiment in the comments section of Gronkowski’s announcement on Instagram earlier in the day. “Words can’t express how proud I am of you,” she gushed. “It has been an absolute thrill watching you perform like no other out on that field. You are the best that has ever played the game if you ask me! I love you with all my heart! I will be your biggest fan in all that you do!”
The couple started dating in 2015 and recently traveled to Mexico for a vacation with fellow NFL retiree Eric Decker and his wife, country singer Jessie James Decker.
Gronkowski, who is known for his fun-loving personality and is affectionally nicknamed Gronk, announced what he called “the biggest [decision] of my life so far” on Sunday afternoon, less than two months before his 30th birthday.
“I will be retiring from the game of football today,” he wrote on Instagram. “I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. [Robert] Kraft and Coach [Bill] Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be.”
“What an honor and privilege to play with you these past nine years @gronk!” the quarterback, 41, wrote on Instagram. “You accomplished so much and our team was almost unbeatable when you were on the field! … The NFL was a better place with you in it! But I have no doubt you will be a success in anything you do!!! Love you pal!”
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