Rashod Bateman: The Emergence of a Butterfly
Rashod Bateman witnessed years of frequent abuse as a child. He was overlooked in high school, then in the middle of a firestorm in college. Now he's ready to spread his wings.
By: Ryan Mink
Rashod Bateman would hear the screams coming from his mom in the other room.
While his two older brothers would try to lose themselves in their video games, Rashod couldn't stand by while his stepfather beat his mother – again. He would sneak over and open the door to the pain, hoping his presence could get it to stop, hoping he could save her.
"Sometimes I just wanted to make sure that my mom was alive," Bateman said.
He was just a kid, but Bateman was forced to grow up fast. The abuse of his mother started as far back as he can remember and lasted for a decade.
"I don't want to get too deep, but I remember a lot," he said. "It was just a lot of violence, a lot of hitting, a lot of yelling, cursing. It was multiple weekends in a row for years straight. It's just what our family got used to."
When he would leave his mother's room, Bateman would sometimes settle down in front of the TV and watch football. He slept with a Wilson football every night. During a time when the world around him was confusing and traumatic, football was a comfort and escape.
"I loved football ever since I could think," Bateman said.
Football and his mother. Those two helped transform Bateman into what he is today – a strong-minded, strong-willed first-round wide receiver of the Baltimore Ravens.
Bateman enters his rookie season with plenty of promise, billed as a polished playmaker who could take the Ravens' passing attack to the next level. After all he's been through, he's just getting started.