Arian Foster, as you may or may not know, is an atheist.

He opened up about his non-belief in an interview with ESPN Magazine and revealed what must be agonizingly frustrating for him as it relates to others who find out he doesn’t believe in God.

“I get the devil-worship thing a lot. They’ll ask me, ‘You worship the devil?’” Foster said. “‘No, bro, I don’t believe there’s a God, why would I believe there’s a devil?’ There’s a lot of ignorance about non-belief. I don’t mean a negative connotation of ignorance. I just mean a lack of understanding, a lack of knowledge, lack of exposure to people like me.”

Foster also shared that the way he sees it, if there is a God, then God probably isn’t taking a personal interest in football teams. He’s responding to the way many athletes who do believe in God also believe God is somehow blessing their teams.

“There are hungry children and diseases and famine and so much important stuff going on in the world, and he’s really blessed your team? It’s just weird to me,” he said.

Additionally, Foster touched on a subject that is close to his heart, noting that he believes there are others like him who are afraid to open up about their atheism because of the public backlash that could potentially come from opening up.

It’s incredibly brave of Foster to have spoken up about his belief system. America is supposed to be a free nation where people can worship (or not) who they want to worship and say what they want to say without fearing repercussion. However, all too often people are excoriated for not fitting into what others believe is an acceptable mold.

It is ironic that so many people, including his own peers, think that somehow because Foster doesn’t believe in God that he would worship the devil. As he mentioned, those two entities are intrinsically intertwined, so if you don’t believe in one you wouldn’t believe in the other.

On a different note, we wish Foster well in his current recovery from the groin injury that sidelined him this week at Houston Texans training camp. He’s set for surgery on Friday, and the Texans surely hope for a speedy recovery afterwards.

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports