On Sunday the AFC Wild Card Game will be held as the Baltimore Ravens host the Indianapolis Colts at M&T Bank Stadium. It is quiet possible that this could be Ray Lewis’s last game as an NFL player. Lewis’s play as a linebacker will be hailed as one of the single greatest performances over a career. ESPN and the NFL network as well as the rest of the mainstream media will hail Ray’s career as near perfect. It will be argued among NFL aficionados whether or not Ray Lewis is the greatest linebacker to play the game. What a single ESPN analyst will not mention is the fatherless children left in the wake of Ray Lewis’s night out with his friends on the fateful night of January 31st 2000. Not one, but two men laid dead at the end of the night as a result of a run in with Ray and his friends.
You don’t have to defend Ray by telling me or yourself that he was only found guilty of hanging around the wrong crowd and obstruction of justice. I get it, I understand that. This isn’t about what Ray didn’t do, it’s about what he did do. In the years after the murders of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar Lewis would settle out of court with both families. If I wasn’t guilty of doing something whether is was stealing or murder, I wouldn’t pay the people who were accusing me a dollar if I was innocent. This wasn’t the case for Ray, who settled out of court with both families for millions before they could start civil suits against him. The actions of this “innocent man” speak louder than any words.
It should be noted that since his “run in” with the law Lewis has become a poster child for motivation and new beginnings. The NFL recently did a segment of Lewis called “A Football Life: Ray Lewis giving back” while that all sounds heartwarming to me it’s as fake as a 3 dollar bill. This is not Tim Tebow who has spent his life positively affecting people from all walks of life. This is Ray Lewis arguably the “greatest linebacker” ever who just happened to be not found liable in the court of law for a double homicide in Atlanta in 2000. Isn’t this the type of behavior that the NFL is trying to eradicate?
Or is it? Dante Stallworth is still in the league and he ran over a man in a drunken stupor one morning in Miami. He’s back in the league. Adam “Pacman” Jones is back in the league after going through a wild ride of crime, probation, the TNA wrestling and then back to the NFL again. But that’s just it isn’t it, the NFL talks a good game and that’s about it. In a league that brings the Trojan Horse message of we care about the kids, and communities it’s hard to believe. Especially when characters whose moral actions like felonious behaviors, DUI-murder( that’s what Stallworth committed) and double murder charges are allowed in the league. These are the men we want your child to be like. That’s the behavior the NFL is condoning by not disallowing people of moral character like this in the the league. It makes me wonder what the NFL is really concerned with. Player safety? No way, not with the slew of lawsuits against them that are sitting in courts. Not putting the best out on the field with the replacement refs debacle this year. Not presenting the American public with strong moral characters with men like Lewis able to operate in between the sidelines. Say what you will, but I know that the blood of innocent men stains a lot more than one’s hands. As for the game on Sunday, I’ll root for the man who beat cancer to make his way back to the NFL, not the guy who beat a double homicide charge.
- You: Ravens defensive legend Lewis to retire once playoffs are over (japantimes.co.jp)
- Ray Lewis May Be Retiring But He Will Have A Very Fruitful Post-NFL Career (forbes.com)
- Ray Lewis Deal: Ravens Linebacker Likely Headed To ESPN After NFL Retirement (sfluxe.com)