Former Tennessee Vols running back Arian Foster says his seven years in the NFL with the Houston Texans has killed football’s entertainment value for him.
On comedian and actor Michael Rapaport’s podcast, “I Am Rapoport,” Foster said he no longer watches any football and only made an exception to watch Super Bowl 50 last weekend. Via Matt Young of the Houston Chronicle:
“I watch zero football, I swear,” Foster said. “Of course, I used to be a super fan growing up. Once you see the business side, you see it differently. I’m pondering entering the last couple, 3-4 years of my career and I’m thinking about what life will be like after football and I’m looking at the game differently.
“I look at it more like, ‘I hope these guys come out healthy because they’ve got families.’ It’s not just entertainment to me any more. I see the men and the humans behind it. It’s a vantage point that not a lot of people get to see. I still do enjoy the game. I love it, but it’s just hard for me to watch it from a fan perspective.”
Foster, 29, played in just four games during the 2015 season before a torn Achilles tendon in October ended his year. He is due to make $6.5 million in the final year of the five-year contract he signed with the Texans in 2012, but could be released by the team to clear salary cap space.
In his conversation with Rapaport, he took issue with the “business side” of football and the freedom the Texans have to release him.
“If an owner cuts a guy because of salary cap reasons or what, we’re like, ‘That’s a good business move,’ but if a guy wants a trade, and he’s publicly demanding a trade or he publicly does something where he wants to go to another team, he’s looked at as a bad person or a locker room rioter. He’s not a team person and it’s (bullcrap),” Foster said. “He’s doing what is best for him and his family. It’s a business move. People don’t think about that. They don’t look at you as a human anymore once you make a certain amount of money.”
Foster led the NFL in rushing yards in 2010 and has made four Pro Bowls in his NFL career. He has 6,472 yards and 54 touchdowns. Jamal Lewis and Charlie Garner are the only UT alumni who tallied more career rushing yards in the NFL, although Foster needs just 625 more to pass Garner.