18 months ago, Maxx Crosby embarked on a journey that only 10% of the world can relate to, treatment for addiction. After a stellar rookie season, Crosby found himself turning to alcohol often. In March of 2020, Crosby realized his casual drinking had progressed into an addiction. And he had to do something about it.
In a recent ESPN interview, Crosby reflected on the beginning of his sobriety journey and what lead him to this point.
“Alcohol, partying and all that s— became too much of a distraction in my life. It became just overwhelming. I’ve always had issues with drinking and partying throughout high school and college. I’ve been able to slip by and get by, but it became too much for me, and it’s always been that one crutch.”
After realizing that his drinking became unmanageable, Crosby checked in to a month-long rehab on March 11, 2020. Crosby completed his inpatient stay. From there he moved into a sober living facility, where he stayed until training camp.
Although he spent the entire offseason in treatment, Crosby says it was the biggest offseason of his life. He reflects on the “amazing” people he met as well as what he learned about himself. Crosby states that he knows he can do anything because of that incredibly trying time in his life.
After rehab, Crosby and the rest of the Raiders moved to Las Vegas. Moving to Nevada brought a change in the environment unlike any other. Going from Oakland to “Sin City” brings its share of on-the-field challenges as well as off-the-field challenges. Not only did the Raiders players have to learn a new city, they also had to avoid all the temptations of Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps.
Las Vegas is known for its party atmosphere and well-known saying, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” For the Raiders and Maxx Crosby, they must ensure this is not the narrative. Crosby has praised the support of the entire Raiders organization in his recovery, saying that, “without the support of my organization… I don’t know if I would be here today”.
Crosby has been open about his sobriety since March 17, 2021, when he shared his story on former Raider Will Compton’s podcast, “Bussin with the Boys.” Along with this podcast, Crosby shared his story on Instagram.
While Maxx Crosby is the latest Raider to be open about his sobriety, he is not the only one. Darren Waller, the Raiders star tight end, can also relate to Crosby’s struggles. On August 12, 2021, Waller celebrated four years sober.
Waller and Crosby have been incredibly open about the Raiders organization’s role in helping them get their lives back. Both Waller and Crosby have been praised publicly by Raiders owner Mark Davis and head coach Jon Gruden. Davis has said he thinks it’s “fantastic” that the two were able to get the treatment they needed. Gruden says they have incredible “mental toughness.” Along with coaches, the two have received unwavering support from their teammates.
The Raiders have never been known to shy away from players due to off-the-field struggles, and they won’t start now. The Raiders have long been known to take on “troubled” players. Al Davis once said,
“Its predicated on bringing them into an environment that can inspire in them the will to do great — and they have done great.”
Crosby and Waller have been no exception. The two took control of a spiraling situation and showed people everywhere that addiction can be overcome, and that you can be great.
As we get closer to starting the 2021 season, Crosby says he feels strong and ready to go. He is focused on becoming a Pro Bowl caliber defensive end and always putting his best foot forward. Now that Crosby feels healthier and stronger, he is ready to put up numbers he couldn’t last season.
Crosby, Waller, and all others publicly or quietly struggling with sobriety are incredible examples of what you can accomplish with the support of family and friends. The battle with addiction never ends, but these players are a prime example of how wonderful life can be on the other side.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction, please reach out for help or call the SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.
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