As I watched Super Bowl XLVII, I knew it was the last time we’d see Ray Lewis on a football field.
The man had an illustrious career and is a first ballot Hall of Famer. He’s a two-time Super Bowl champion and was the heart and soul of the Baltimore Ravens for 17 seasons.
All the accolades aside, I can’t help but wonder: Who is the real Ray Lewis?
Most people know Lewis for his incredible play, preaching about God’s impact on his life and all of his charitable work off the field.
When all is said and done, what will Ray Lewis be remembered for? Will Ray Lewis be remembered as the greatest linebacker of all-time, or will he be remembered for the events that took place on Jan. 31, 2000?
On Jan. 31, 2000, Lewis was attending a Super Bowl party with some friends and a fight broke out. Two men, Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar, were stabbed to death.
Mind you, this was 13 years ago. A double-homicide isn’t something to be taken lightly, especially when we don’t really know the truth.
All we know is that two men were killed and two more went on trial for murder. Ray Lewis, however, went on to continue his football career.
During the investigation, blood from one of the victims was found in Lewis’s limousine.
Lewis eventually testified against his friends during trial. The murder charges were dropped on Lewis in exchange for his testimony against his friends.
After rolling over on the two men, Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice charge. He received 12 months of probation. The white suit he was wearing that night has never been found.
Lewis refuses to talk about the events of that fateful evening. In an interview with USA Today, Lewis danced around the question, which is kind of his MO.
“You want to talk to me about something that happened 13 years ago right now?” Lewis asked. “I’m telling you, no day leaves this Earth without me asking God to ease the pain of anybody who was affected by that whole ordeal.”
That’s all well and fine, but why not actually answer the question, Ray? The families of these victims will never find a sense of closure, because they don’t know what happened. Lewis owes the victims’ families that.
If he really had nothing to do with the murder, then why won’t he speak about it? He speaks about virtually everything else on his mind.
More controversy struck Lewis in the days prior to Super Bowl XLVII.
Suffering from a torn triceps injury, Lewis returned to field faster than most. At 37-years-old, that raises some eyebrows.
Reports then surfaced about him using deer antler spray, a medical term is IGF-1. It’s a type of growth hormone that can help athletes recover faster from injuries. This is also a banned substance by the NFL.
Lewis adamantly denied these stories at Media Day in New Orleans.
Did he use it? I honestly don’t know, but it’s something to think about. He came back from an injury that would’ve ended most players’ seasons. He did this at the ripe age of 37.
Ray Lewis wants everyone to forget what happened 13 years ago, but I won’t. Those men’s deaths shouldn’t be in vain.
Until Lewis actually tells the world what happened, I will have my doubts about him. I don’t know if Ray Lewis is a good man or a really good liar.
Let it be known, I have great respect for Ray Lewis, the football player. Chances are, we’ll never see a guy with his work ethic and leadership qualities again.
Ray Lewis, the man, is someone who I’m not so sure of. Is he the bible-preaching, running back, crushing leader on the field or is he the man that got away with murder?
As a football player, I will greatly miss him. The NFL isn’t going to be the same without him.
But for a man that claims God doesn’t make mistakes, he should be smart enough to know that men do make mistakes.
Maybe it’s time Ray stops preaching and starts actually speaking the truth about that night and PEDs.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org