Former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Christian Ballard says he quit the team last month in order to spend more time as a husband, parent and churchgoer.
"I can always treat my wife better, treat my son better, be a better brother, be a better son, but I know right now from being out of the NFL that it's a lot easier to focus on those things because I have time. I'm not wrapped up in this whole other lifestyle," Ballard told USA Today.
After quitting the Vikings last month, the 24 year old moved back to his hometown of Lawrence, Kan. and married his girlfriend Victoria Hallenback.
However, the marriage hasn't gone smoothly.
Last Thursday, Ballard was and his wife were arrested for domestic battery. Ballard spent a day in jail, but the district attorney did not press charges because neither had physically injured the other.
"I'm not saying that I left the NFL, now everything is just fine. It's not. There's still a lot of lot of things I've got to work on, obviously, as being a husband and a father," said Ballard, who has a three-year-old son, Reeve, from a previous relationship.
"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," added Ballard.
"It made me selfish. It made me complacent. I just thought that I was better than everyone. Don't get me wrong, there are tons of people who play in the NFL and are strong believers in the Lord and they have a great lifestyle. But for me, it wasn't really working out," said Ballard, who plans to go to college and study art.
Source: USA Today