- Rob Gronkowski announced on Tuesday that after retiring from the NFL, he is partnering with CBDMedic, a CBD-based topical, and becoming an advocate for CBD.
- Gronkowski sat down with Business Insider to discuss his next venture and what he has been up to in retirement, including losing weight, competing in other sports, and doing puzzles.
- Gronkowski also discussed whether he’d feel the “itch” to return to football during the season.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Rob Gronkowski has maintained a relatively low profile – by Gronk standards – since announcing his retirement from the NFL in March.
On Tuesday, in New York City, Gronkowski announced his next venture – partnering with CBDMedic, a CBD-based topical, and becoming an advocate for CBD. In an emotional press conference, Gronkowski spoke about how football wore him down physically, emotionally, and spiritually, how he needed to take time off to heal, and how CBDMedic helped his recovery.
Gronkowski, of course, was peppered with questions about returning to football. He left the door open but said he did not see a comeback happening in the foreseeable future – like in a week or month, as he put it.
After his press conference, Gronkowski sat down with Business Insider to discuss his next chapter, how he’s spent time in retirement, including losing weight, how he’d change the NFL, and whether he will feel the “itch” to play football again.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Foto: Rob Gronkowski is now an advocate for CBD.sourceIlya S. Savenok/Getty Images
Scott Davis: During your press conference today, you spoke a lot about the idea of being pain-free and recovering. What has that overall process been like? Obviously, you found CBDMedic and started using that, but what else? Has it been rehab, is it just resting…?
Rob Gronkowski: It’s everything overall. I mean, you just can’t do one thing. One thing may help, but if you want to get to the level I wanted to get to, you gotta do many things. From your lifestyle, to how you work out, to what you eat – and not just going organic foods, more plant-based. Losing some weight off of me, which was nice, which felt good. And getting the right treatments, too, definitely, the right massages. Working with the right people. You gotta do it all. And also resting, too. I mean football, never rest, always go, go, go, go, go. Rest is also crucial.
Davis: Since you brought it up, Tom Brady said on his weekly radio interview that he thought you were down about 15 pounds. Is that accurate?
Gronkowski: About 15-20 pounds down. Really accurate.
Davis: How have you done that? You mentioned a more strict diet. Anything else?
Gronkowski: I always say more of a strict diet and also doing exercise too, but more of a strict diet definitely helped out to lose it. And intermediate fasting. That definitely helped shave some weight. Big time. I did it for like two weeks straight, just eating from 8 AM to 12:00 PM, 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM cut it off. And then some days, the longest was like 21 hours. But you feel good after, though. It feels good. I built up to it. It’s not like I just jumped into it.
Davis: Have you talked to any former teammates, like offensive linemen or anything like that, guys who are dropping 60, 70 pounds?
Foto: Rob Gronkowski said he is down 15-20 pounds from his playing weight of 260.sourceGary Gershoff/Getty Images
Gronkowski: Yeah, man, those guys lose weight like it’s nothing. It’s crazy. But I would say we were in a different ball game. They have a lot more weight to lose than what I had. I was just 260, but I was a solid 260. They had a lot more, like, easy weight to lose off, you know what I’m trying to say? So that’s why you can [see them] three months later, they’re like, whoa, what happened? “You transformed like that!” It’s nuts.
Davis: Like [former Cleveland Browns offensive tackle] Joe Thomas. Have you seen him?
Gronkowski: Yeah, like him! It’s pretty nuts. But it just shows they probably figured out a way, too. You gotta figure out a way. He probably feels, if you asked him, I bet you he feels way lighter, looser, quicker. Why else would he do that, you know? It just shows that us NFL players, you maintain such a level cause you gotta play at such a level. But after, after you’re done, you find your ways.
Davis: So is everybody just walking around through the NFL season feeling awful, in pain, too heavy, etc.?
Gronkowski: No, I wouldn’t say that. No, no. There’s some guys, you see players out there that are light, that are loose.
I would say, you know – I’m not trying to speak on behalf of any players – but if you play for a while in the NFL, I would say at one point in time in your career that you’re gonna feel like that, big time.
Davis: Going back to CBDMedic, I’m not trying to say you are, but if you wanted to return to football, could you use CBDMedic during the season or no?
Gronkowski: I’m pretty sure it’s not open. It’s not allowed yet in the NFL. I’m hoping, though, that they open their books to CBD, open the rules. I’m not 100% sure. But now that I endorse it and represent it and am in partnership with it and I’ve invested into it, I’m not sure that I can play until that ban on CBD is uplifted in the NFL. But it’s all good. I’m chilling right now. I’m good.
Davis: Do you plan to talk to some of the major sports leagues about CBD? You want to be an advocate for it. Have you been talking to any of the sports leagues about it?
Gronkowski: Today was just the first step. We’re taking it one step at a time and then we can go from there.
Davis: What was it like for you that you announced your retirement, and the next day, people were already talking about coming back? Was it frustrating?
Foto: Rob Gronkowski retired from the NFL in March.sourceKevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Gronkowski: I mean, it was frustrating at first. I’m looking at the positive of it. My fans love seeing me play out there, and I love my fans, too, and love that they want to see me back out there. You gotta appreciate that. But it is pretty nuts, man. It is pretty nuts to hear everyone 24/7.
Davis: [Chicago Bears cornerback] Prince Amukamara told me this, and I thought it was interesting. He thinks more and more players – and this was before you had retired, before Doug Baldwin did, or Andrew Luck – are gonna retire early. They’re trying to maximize their earnings quickly, keep their body a little bit fresher, and pursue other interests beyond football. I was just curious for your opinion on that.
Gronkowski: It’s all about what the person wants in their life. It’s a rough game. We all know what we’re signing up for, and it can definitely affect your life outside of football too, because of just the beating that game of football can put on you/
It’s cool. It’s good to see that other players – a lot of players struggle in the next life of after football. So it’s good to see that other players see opportunities that they can take advantage of and they can go and do and that they can leave the game and still have something to pursue after.
Foto: Andrew Luck shocked the NFL world by retiring at 29 years old.sourceBrian Spurlock/USA Today Sports
Davis: There are some people that say after retiring that you go, “Now what?” Did you have that?
Gronkowski: No, I didn’t have any worries about that. I got a good family around me. Good support system. My father started a business, and he’s been in business for 30 years. It was with fitness equipment and everything. I had my own Gronk Fitness line already. So my brother started his own company, and my other brother works for him. So I knew there’s a lot of work out there. There is a lot of work out there, and if you just go look for it, you’re going to find it.
Davis: Have you ever considered doing TV or commentary or anything like that?
Gronkowski: You know, a little bit. I really haven’t looked that much into it. I wanted to stick with business stuff first, like CBDMedic obviously. Go put my toes full in with that. That’s the passion that I’m feeling. It gives me that fire. But that can definitely be something down the road.
Davis: Jason Witten, who came out of retirement, said he thought it would be hard for you not to return to football because of the competitive fire inside of you. You talked a little bit about that during the press conference. Do you think that fire will be stoked just watching games this year? Or do you think it’s pretty calm right now? You don’t feel the itch to play.
Foto: Rob Gronkowski doesn’t think he’ll feel the itch to play football.sourceJim Rogash/Getty
Gronkowski: No, I’m not feeling an itch at all to go. I just got to stay busy. You gotta stay busy. I mean, even when I’m relaxing, I’m staying busy in different ways. Like if I’m just chilling at home, it’s not like I’m just chilling at home, like laying on the couch. I’m still trying to stay active. Maybe make some phone calls. I’ve been doing like a 750-piece puzzle when I’m at home just to keep going.
Davis: What’s the puzzle? Gronkowski: It’s actually a picture of New York. It’s a tough one. But I’ll just stay busy and know that, in going in the business ventures, there’s always something you can find to do. Always.
Davis: Michael Phelps was doing Peloton and that kind of satisfied his competitive desire. Do you have anything like that that you’re doing?
Gronkowski: Oh yeah. I love fitness, and always competing. If I’m not working out, I’m usually doing an activity where I’m always facing my brothers or friends in basketball, swimming, cornhole, one of my favorite games out there. You name it, we’re doing it. Volleyball, beach volleyball, whatever it is.
Davis: Will we ever see you on ESPN The Ocho, where they’re playing backyard games and different types of games?
Gronkowski: I’ve heard about it. I don’t know. You know, it could possibly be, down in the future. I don’t want to rule anything like that out because that’s pretty cool, backyard games.
Davis: Now that you’ve had some time away from football, is there any game or moment you’re most proud of from your career?
Gronkowski: The special moment is the first Super Bowl victory. You put all that work in and finally get a Super Bowl victory, you just always remember those wins.
Davis: I was gonna ask you what you would do if you were NFL commissioner – what’s something you’d like to see. I have a feeling allowing CBD would probably be on your list. Is anything else that comes to mind?
Foto: Rob Gronkowski would like to see NFL players have more of a voice.sourceSteven Senne/AP
Gronkowski: It’s a well-organized league. I mean, obviously besides uplifting CBD [long pause] I’m not sure. I never really thought about that. Maybe just players having more of a voice. It’s tough because [there is so much] turnover and everything. Just I would say players having more of a voice.
Davis: The NBA has talked about having a mid-season tournament, something else to play for. It would be pretty hard to do that in the NFL because you need to give players time to rest, but they are talking about cutting down preseason or eliminating it. Do you think some kind of mid-season or other tournament that the teams play for would work in the NFL?
Gronkowski: That’s pretty wild. I mean, that’d be tough because it’s been such an installed system already that’s been working. You know, you gotta go for the Lombardi trophy and you gotta play all season long for it. It’s just how it’s been. I think it’s a great set-up.
I would say that there should be open talks about the preseason games, definitely. Having four preseason games, maybe limit it down or something. I could definitely see something being talked about there.
Davis: Did you do anything on the first day of training camp when everyone else had to report? Did you take extra time to relax? Did you rub it in any former teammates’ faces?
Gronkowski: No. No, I haven’t. I really didn’t think about it. It was just another normal day, which is a good thing. I’m glad that I’m not, like, sitting there like, “Ah, they’re going to training camp.” I’m happy for all my teammates and everything, and they’re excited to go back. But I’m just in another venture in my life right now.
- Read more:
- Rob Gronkowski says that Tom Brady is the healthiest player in the NFL and that he eventually wants to pitch him on CBD
- The fabulous life of Rob Gronkowski, the NFL’s most lovable party boy, who is retiring from the NFL with all of his $54 million saved
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