Rob Gronkowski has hung up the cleats on his larger-than-life on-field persona and is taking on a new role in retirement: Mr. Recovery.
The former New England Patriots tight end has spent the five months since announcing his retirement focused on recovering from his injury-riddled NFL career.
He says CBD is the product that has helped him most, and now he’s asking the NFL and other professional sports leagues to update their stances on the substance.
“It’s just time,” he said. “It would have made a huge difference for me, I believe, during my playing career. I want the same opportunity for my friends and teammates out there.”
Over the past 20 seasons, NFL fans have been treated to the likes of Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers regularly gracing their television screens on any given Sunday.
The talent of such a group of quarterbacks is undeniable, with 10 Super Bowl victories between the quartet, as well as countless NFL records set, broken and set again.
While age may be just a number in some aspects of life, that’s not the case for professional athletes, as much as Tom Brady would like you to think so. Brady, the oldest quarterback in the league, turned 42 earlier in August. Brees is right behind him at age 40, with several other stars including Aaron Rodgers in their late thirties.
The harsh reality is that many of these quarterbacks will be out of the league within a few years – possibly even sooner than anticipated after the retirement of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck at the age of 29.
According to Brees, though, the league will be left in good hands.
Antonio Brown is continuing his battle against the NFL over new rules that prohibit him from using his helmet of choice after a study revealed older equipment that has been deemed unsafe by the league.
Several other high-profile players, including Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, have come out in semi-support of Brown’s movement. Both quarterbacks stated displeasure with having to veer from their preferred gear but have ultimately complied with the NFL’s new guidelines thus far.
Recently, another star signal-caller expressed some distaste for his new helmet – but mostly just because of how it makes him look.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the reigning Most Valuable Player of the National Football League – and now, he’s the MVP for haircare as well.
Mahomes, who rose to fame in late 2017 when he first started under center for the Chiefs, has become known for his signature hairstyle. Young football fans in Kansas City and beyond have taken to asking their hair stylists for “The Mahomes,” a long, curly mohawk with shaved sides that the popular quarterback accessorizes with a headband during games – to keep it upright and prevent helmet hair, of course.
The 23-year-old’s iconic style has been with him since he was young. It began as a challenge with a friend to see who could grow their hair the longest before caving in and cutting it.
Mahomes powered through what he called a few “rough stages” during the growth period and quickly became attached to the longer locks. Years later, the style has become an essential part of who he is.
Katelyn Ohashi became a celebrity overnight when her perfect-10 gymnastics floor routine was posted by the official UCLA Twitter account in January and almost immediately went viral.
Fans were taken by her upbeat personality and high-energy performance. The rest of the sporting world took notice too. At the 2019 ESPY Awards in July, the recent UCLA grad won both Best Play of the Year and Viral Sports Moment of the Year.
Ohashi used her time on stage after winning Best Play to deliver a poetic speechabout body image and gender stereotypes.
“It was a really amazing opportunity,” she told AOL Sports on behalf of Gatorade. “You can feel the vibe of the room, of all these driven, like-minded people.”
Ohashi was nervous, naturally, to speak in front of the most famous athletes in the world, as well as a massive television audience, upon winning her awards, but she pushed through and delivered her message with poise.
There was one person in attendance, however, that left the 22-year-old “starstruck.” It wasn’t Serena Williams, any member of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team or Rob Gronkowski – rather, it was high school football coach Rob Mendez, the recipient of this year’s Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
Eight months ago, Katelyn Ohashi was simply a student gymnast at UCLA – and now, she’s a viral sensation working alongside the likes of Peyton Manning and Serena Williams.
“My phone was blowing up,” Ohashi told AOL Sports of the day her high-energy floor routine went viral back in January. “I don’t even have my [Twitter] notifications on like that, so I didn’t understand what was happening.”
Within days, the college athlete and her parents were flown out to New York to appear on Good Morning America, and Ohashi’s ascension to internet royalty was complete. Since then, she’s gone viral again, stolen the show at the 2019 ESPYs with a moving speech on female stereotypes and has paired up with Gatorade to use her newfound platform for a good cause.
The tumultuous Kyrie Irving era in Boston has come to an end.
The six-time NBA All-Star, who was obtained via trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017, signed with the Brooklyn Nets as soon as free agency began this summer, joining forces with Kevin Durant in a move that came as a surprise to very few.
In need of a point guard after Irving’s departure, the Celtics agreed to terms with Kemba Walker, who has played for the Charlotte Bobcats-turned-Hornets since being drafted ninth overall out of the University of Connecticut in 2011.
Walker will be the Celtics’s third starting point guard in five years. He joins a team with a plethora of young talent, including Jayston Tatum and Jaylen Brown, that is in desperate need of togetherness and leadership after a difficult end to Irving’s term.
And former NBA star and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose says Walker is exactly the man for the job.
Two-time World Cup champion Alex Morgan knew there was something special about the 2019 U.S. women’s national soccer team – its voice.
The 2019 roster, which was without Abby Wambach and Hope Solo but gained names like Rose Lavelle and Crystal Dunn, quickly delivered record TV ratings. Their comments and actions off the field, however, were what sent them to an unprecedented level of fame.
The players of the USWNT this year were targets of criticism from fans and analysts for running up scores and celebrating goals. United States President Donald Trump even weighed in, sparking a feud with Morgan’s co-captain, Megan Rapinoe, mid-tournament over her comments regarding the traditional White House championship visit and her protests during the national anthem.
That deluge of backlash would be difficult for anyone to weather, but Morgan believes that growth between the 2015 World Cup and this year’s iteration helped to prepare the 2019 team.
“In 2015, we realized that we had the microphone but we were still new at learning how to use it,” she told AOL.com on behalf of DICK’S Sporting Goods. “I think we grew into that in the last four years.”
LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
This offseason, the NBA has officially become a league of duos — two superstars joining forces on one team in the hopes of winning a championship. With the dynastic Golden State Warriors falling to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Finals and losing several key players to injury or free agency since, it feels like this upcoming season is anyone’s game.
Through all the max contracts and requested trades, however, ESPN analyst Jalen Rose says there’s one static pair that isn’t getting the attention they deserve: the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
“The problem is, they got to the playoffs the past few years and they got swept,” Rose told AOL.com of the Blazers, courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods. “What ends up happening is we dismiss what they do in the regular season and say, ‘Show us in the playoffs.’ Then this year, they made it to the Western Conference Finals.”
Youth sports across the nation are being threatened.
School budgets, family income and gender inequality are all putting American kids’ ability to participate in after-school sports at risk.
Currently, 24% of U.S. high schools don’t offer sports programs. Fees to play community sports are rising, and nearly two-thirds of school sports budgets are stagnant or decreasing, leaving families at a loss for how to get their children involved.
DICK’S Sporting Goods believes every kid deserves a chance to play and is stepping up to the plate to help turn those dreams into reality.
The company will be matching up to $1 million in donations made to the DICK’S Foundation at store checkouts from now until September 13, 2019, with the goal of providing access to sports for one million youth athletes over the next five years.
DICK’S will also be partnering with the Women’s Sports Foundation to expand research on the participation and retention of young girls in sports. As it stands now, 56% of teenage girls do not participate in any sport, compared to 48% of boys.
USWNT star and World Cup champion Alex Morgan, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and NBA star turned ESPN analyst Jalen Rose are among the famous faces supporting the cause. Former Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn also joins Fitzgerald and Rose on the DICK’S Sporting Goods Sports Matter Advisory Board.