The Minnesota Vikings lost Christian Ballard for the season during training camp. No, it wasn’t due to an injury. Ballard simply left the team in what could only be described as going AWOL. The circumstances around his decision to leave the team were unclear until now. Ballard recently broke his silence to USA Today:
“I wasn’t really having a good time playing football. It wasn’t fun for me. It wasn’t a blast for me. Making that much money, that was fun. But money is still a material thing. You can always make money. You can’t make that time that you lose with your friends and your loved ones. Time is something that you can never get back.”
It should also be noted that Ballard left the Vikings and then got married two weeks later. Then just about a week ago, he was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery. He’s since been cleared in the case.
Ballard is now planning to go back to school and work on attaining an art degree. He says he wants to spend more time with his son and start attending church again. He also didn’t rule out a return to football.
Of all the reasons for his departure, I wasn’t expecting this. Many like myself had guessed that he wasn’t happy with his role on the Vikings anymore. The team drafted Sharrif Floyd in the first round of this year’s draft and that acquisition figured to really limit Ballard’s playing time this season. Who know’s if that actually factored into his decision?
I’m willing to bet that we haven’t seen the last of Ballard in the NFL. The things he’s planning to do right now are great, but art doesn’t pay the bills quite like a pro football does.
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