Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Speaks Out About Josh Gordon's Addiction Struggle

By David Konow 02/05/19

“This wasn’t a troublemaker in the locker room. Unfortunately, he had some personal demons,” Kraft said. 

New England Patriot Josh Gordon
Josh Gordon Photo via YouTube

New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon should be enjoying his team's victory at this year's Super Bowl LIII, but instead he watched the game from rehab.

Gordon has had to endure a number of suspensions from the NFL because of drug violations, and he missed many games for failing drug tests. Gordon became a Patriot last September, and it seemed he was finally back with a vengeance, but last December he was suspended by the NFL indefinitely for failing another drug test.

Right before the Patriots won yet another Super Bowl on Sunday, the team’s owner, Robert Kraft, spoke candidly to Boston Sports Tonight about Gordon’s struggles.

Kraft appeared on the show with his son, Jonathan, the president of the Patriots. Kraft said Gordon was a “real good guy” with a lot of potential who was respected by his teammates. “It makes us sad,” Kraft said. “This wasn’t a troublemaker in the locker room. Unfortunately, he had some personal demons.”

Once he became a Patriot, Kraft was certainly aware of the player’s history. Gordon did a great job for the team until December, when he was suspended indefinitely after failing a drug test.

Jonathan explained that Gordon wasn’t raised with a support system. “He saw other people doing it, and it gets back to the original way we grew up. That doesn’t mean people don’t get addicted from all walks of life… but you get exposed to it in a whole different way when you come from where Josh Gordon came from.”

Robert Kraft added, “We gave him tremendous support on a daily basis, and he was worthy. But I think we as a society have to try to help these young people not to get addicted in the first place. And that’s the sad part of this. He’s a good guy—a really good guy.”

Gordon’s troubles with drugs began back in the seventh grade. In addition to marijuana, he also drank and regularly took Xanax, hydrocodone and oxycodone as well. He told Uninterrupted that one coach in college helped him cheat drug tests, and he said, “I’ve been enabled most of my life… everybody pretty much gave me a second chance because of my ability.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.