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Gronk Is All In on CBD

The former All-Pro just announced an intriguing career pivot

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Earlier this week, a press release circulated teasing a mysterious Rob Gronkowski press conference, a setting where he would announce a project that represented the next step in his career. Since his retirement from the NFL in March, rumors have swirled about what Gronk might do next. Television? Wrestling? Gronkowski was an enormously successful—and enormously popular—NFL player, one of the rare football players whoseemed to enjoy the moment on the field. What’s next?

 

This morning, Gronk made his announcement. For the immediate future, he’ll be partnering with CBDMEDIC Pharma, effectively becoming a lobbyist for the benefits of CBD for pain management within sports. CBD is currently a banned substance in the NFL, and Gronk’s role with CBDMEDIC will be to raise CBD awareness, with the hope that major organizations—like the NFL—will change their position on it.

In the presser, Gronk claimed to be pain-free. So pain-free, in fact, that he mentioned considering a return to football if his back pain subsides. (Gronk had multiple back surgeries throughout his career.) In a time when even the most prominent and successful NFL stars are grappling with the mental and physical tolls of playing football, the fact that Gronk’s advocacy is tied directly to his sport is telling: By attempting to make the pain-management climate more thoughtful and open-minded, he’s showing the league that a new approach could reinvigorate players who find the culture of the game unsustainable.

 

There’s a lot of money in CBD initiatives right now, and this is just the latest instance of a prominent athlete endorsing a CBD product. But what makes it worth watching is how exactly Gronk might approach his position: Will he directly lobby the NFL or will his general celebrity have a wider impact on public perception? 

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