Rob Gronkowski is ready to take the next step in his career.
During a Tuesday morning press conference in New York City, the former New England Patriots tight end officially announced his new business venture that he was partnering with Abacus Health to launch a line of CBD products, after Gronkowski said the products changed his life.
“I immediately made CBD Medic part of my recovery,” Gronkowski said of his post-retirement treatment. “And now for the first time in more than a decade, I am pain-free. And that is a big deal.”
Gronk cited numerous injuries as well as his nine surgeries during his playing career.
“[The injuries] took an absolute beating on my mind and my soul. I was hurt both mentally and physically, day in and day out,” Gronkowski said. “I decided to walk away from the game for one reason: I had to recover.”
“I’m here to appeal to the sports governing bodies to update their positions on CBD (so it can be) used by all players. … For the first time in a decade, I’m pain-free.”
Gronkowski got extremely emotional when posed with the question about a possible return to football.
“It’s crazy. I understand. I feel that love. But I want to be clear to my fans: I needed to recover. I was not in a good place. Football was bringing me down. And I didn’t like it. And I was losing that joy in life. Like, the joy. I’m sorry right now,” Gronkowski said, fighting through tears. “But … I really was. And I was fighting through it. And I knew what I signed up for and I knew what I was fighting through, and I knew I just needed to fix myself.”
He didn’t exactly rule out not making a return to the NFL as well.
“When that time comes, if I have the desire to play football again, if I feel passionate about football again … I will go back to football,” Gronkowski said, noting that could come in six months, two years, three years, or three months.
The 29-year-old caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards receiving and 79 touchdowns for the Patriots over the course of nine seasons and 115 games. He was also a 5-time pro bowl player and made 4 first-team All-Pros.