Rob Gronkowski is opening up about his retirement from the NFL.
During a New York City press conference on Tuesday, the athlete explained the physical and emotional toll his football career had taken on him.
“I was fortunate enough to have nine record-breaking seasons in the NFL,” he said. “I’m so thankful to the NFL for the opportunity to play in one of the greatest organizations in all of sports. But during that time I had countless injuries and nine surgeries which took an absolute beating on my body and my soul.”
The former New England Patriots tight end continued, “I was hurt both mentally and physically day in and day out. I decided to walk away from the game for one main reason: I had to recover. That’s why you haven’t seen me in five months.”
Gronkowski announced his retirement in March, and he said that he knows he’s missed. “Wherever I go, Patriots fans always ask, am I coming back? I understand. I feel that love, but I want to be clear with my fans. I needed to recover. I was not in a good place. Football was bringing me down.”
Getting teary, he added, “I didn’t like it, and I was losing that joy in life. I really was, and I was fighting through it, and I knew what I was fighting through, and I knew I just had to fix myself, and I believe I have the tools.”
Gronkowski explained that he’s now advocating for CBD as a treatment for pain, saying he was “blown away” by how well it worked for him. He announced his partnership with the CBDMedic line of topical medications during the press conference.
“I’m on the right path, and I’ve got a lot farther to go,” he added. “I feel great, and I am pain-free, but I truly believe I can get to another level with my body, and I’m just in the first stage right now.”
“If I have the desire to play football again, if I feel passion about football again, if I’m feeling like I need to be out there on the field, I will go back to football.”
“I didn’t retire from life,” he concluded. “I want the joy in life again, I want the passion in life again. I love to do business. That’s where I am in life right now and I’m enjoying it.”