Few would sympathize with a professional athlete comparing his lot in life to those of slaves.
"Every time I see an athlete say ‘We are like slaves and the league is our master,’ it (ticks) me off," Batch told Clardy. "If you want to know what the life of a slave was like, go read your history books and it’ll put that in perspective really fast. You’re not a slave. It’s absurd. It’s ignorant, it’s ridiculous and it’s stupid. You’re not a slave, you’re just somebody who didn't fully take advantage of every opportunity, and when your sport ended, you were bitter about it."
Batch seemed at peace with what appears to be the end of his professional football career. The Steelers released him in the final roster cutdown this September, but he remained in the Pittsburgh area, working on his art, content to trade pads for brushes. He recently released "The Rider" as part of his Fearless series, according to his blog.
"The lifestyle that the NFL brings, it goes away," he told Clardy. "At some point, football ends. For me, I understand that. Because of that, I began to build these multiple structures of things I wanted to do when I was done. So when football fell down, there was no down time. There was no sitting around and figuring out what I was going to do. I’m fulfilled, and it’s a good feeling."
Batch was taken in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft, but tore his ACL in training camp. He played off and on with the Steelers in 2012, but eventually was released.
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