Maxx Crosby has won much more than a title or trophies during the 2020 offseason. In an interview with ESPN, the Raiders player reveals that he entered rehab in the spring of 2020. March 11, precisely.
To the outside world, everything seemed to be working out at Crosby after a 10-sack rookie season. But it was far from being the case. Behind the scenes, he is a victim of alcohol.
“I spent a month in rehab and managed to recover. After that, I stayed for a month in a place where everyone stays sober. Then I was in Venice Beach until training camp. I was literally on treatment all offseason.
It was a big fight. But looking at my journey, I know that in 5 years, 10 years, I will look back and tell myself that this was the most important offseason of my life, even if I was just trying to put things in order. my things and keep my head above water. I know if I can survive this and be sober, I can do anything. It was special and I met amazing people on this adventure. “
The Raiders defenseman’s problems didn’t go back to his arrival in the NFL. But they ended up getting too big.
“It got to a point after my rookie season where my life was no longer manageable. Alcohol, partying and all of those things had become too much of a distraction in my life. It overwhelmed me. I’ve always had problems with alcohol and partying in high school and college. I managed to get out of it, but it got too much for me, and it was a crutch.
Alcoholism is present in my family and I am an alcoholic. I knew it was a crutch for me. I always knew I had a problem. I always knew I couldn’t drink like everyone else. I took the front. “
So Crosby made the decision to get help, and he’s been sober for 18 months. But it has not been easy every day.
“The first year of sobriety is always the hardest and that was last year. I had a lot of ups and downs. Mentally, it was very difficult for me. But it’s been almost a year and a half now and life is great. I enjoy every day. I enjoy the work. “
Crosby’s bosses know nothing about his struggle. And they were even there to support him.
“I think it’s fantastic,” says Mark Davis, the owner of the franchise. “Everyone has demons. He admitted he had a problem and went to fix it. Recognizing it and wanting to fix it is the first step in getting the help you need. And he did. “
Jon Gruden thinks none the less.
“Maxx is an incredible guy,” says the coach. “He realized he had a problem, isolated himself and got over it. He has incredible mental toughness and he wishes to be a big one. It’s a great inspiration for people to see what you can do when you are determined. “
Crosby was helped by Alcoholics Anonymous. But also by his teammate Darren Waller, who has also experienced addiction. For the tight end, it was drugs. But these fights brought the two men closer together.
“He’s a guy who had fallen a long way and almost lost his life,” Crosby recalls. “He managed to come back and is now one of the best players in the league. Seeing a guy like that gave me hope. When I went to rehab I was terrified. I didn’t know if I could do it. But today what I got from being sober, working and trusting the people around me is amazing. “
Still only 24 years old, Crosby will be one of the mainstays of the Raiders’ defense in the season ahead.