Skip to main content

These days, it’s perfectly common for athletes to dabble in external business opportunities. From classics like the George Forman Grill to more modern partnerships like Michael Jordan’s tequila investment, it seems like everyone wants a piece of the pie. Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has even gotten in on the trend, partnering with a CBD company.

That seems like quite the leap, even for the famously personable Patriot. So how did Rob Gronkowski get into the CBD business?

Rob Gronkowski’s playing career

Rob Gronkowski grew up as a three-sport athlete, playing football, basketball, and baseball. When the time came for him to move on to college, Gronk decided to focus on football and enrolled at the University of Arizona.

As a Wildcat, the tight end emerged as a deadly offensive threat. Gronkowski caught 28 passes for 525 yards and six touchdowns; he also led the team in yards per reception, averaging nearly 19 yards with each catch. He only improved as a sophomore, hauling in 47 catches for 672 yards and 10 TDs. Gronkowski would miss his junior season due to a back injury, however, and then declare for the NFL draft.

Gronk joined the New England Patriots and immediately picked up where he had left off in college. He developed a strong relationship with Tom Brady, pulling in 10 touchdown passes during his rookie year. The pair would work together for nine NFL seasons, finding the end zone 79 times and winning three Super Bowl titles.

Battling through injuries

While every football player picks up his share of bumps and bruises, Rob Gronkowski battled quite a few serious injuries throughout his career. He missed an entire college season due to a back injury, and things didn’t get any smoother at the NFL level.

In addition to a recurring back issue, Gronk broke his forearm twice. He suffered a concussion and tore both his MCL and ACL on the same play in 2013 and picked up a variety of strains, bruises, and contusions after that.

Ultimately, those repeated injuries pushed Gronkowski to retire. “To tell you the truth, just try and imagine getting hit all the time and trying to be where you want to be every day in life,” he explained. It’s tough, it’s difficult. To take hits to the thigh, to take hits to your head, abusing your body, isn’t what your brain wants. When your body is abused, it can bring down your mood.”

Trying out CBD

Even after retiring, Rob Gronkowski still found himself in pain. One specific incident, however, inspired him to try CBD for the first time.

Over the Fourth of July, the tight end spent some time with his family and friends in New Hampshire. Everything was going well until a barefooted soccer game left the former Patriot with a nasty toe injury.

“They’re black and blue, totally killing me,” he told Adam Schefter. “My dad was like, ‘Hey Rob, try this cream out. Use this cream I’ve been using for my back pain.’ So I put it on my toes and instantly I got the relief that I was looking for.”

That cream was a CBD product and the relief got Gronk thinking. Given his history with injuries, he was intrigued; soon after, he partnered with Abacus Health Products. There’s also a rumored relationship with Gilette Stadium on the cards.

“I’m not saying [CBD] would help me make like five more spectacular one-handed catches, but it could have helped me out big time with some of the hits that you take,” Gronk explained. But, if his investment pans out, civilian life could get even sweeter.