Ray Lewis has been one of the most hated men in sports for the past decade. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 1996 and retired as a Raven in 2013. How could anyone hate a man who played in the same uniform for 17 years, went to 13 Pro Bowls, and was a Super Bowl MVP?
In 2000, after a Super Bowl party in Atlanta, a fight occurred between Lewis and several men. It resulted in the deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar, two men involved in the fight. Lewis and two others were questioned and eventually indicted on murder charges. No evidence turned up to directly pin the murder on Lewis, although there was blood in his limo, later identified as Baker’s.
Do I think Ray Lewis committed murder that night in Atlanta? No. Do I think he knows who did? Yes. Lewis has a certain reputation…he’s a leader, tough as nails. He’s a lot of things, but one thing he isn’t is a rat. Lewis isn’t one to go running to the police with answers so he can keep his name clear. I think he knew what happened, but kept his mouth shut. Through his actions, he won a lot of respect, but he also lost a tremendous amount as well. Can you respect someone who was obstructing justice and didn’t allow the judicial system to right the families that were wronged? Or do you give him respect for the hardships he’s endured through the whole process, remaining loyal to those involved in the murder?
Either way, no one has the right to judge. We all make mistakes, no matter how big or small. Ray Lewis played the game of football with incredible tenacity. He was a leader for the Ravens organization for years and his pre-game pep talks became famous. Lewis always made his team better when he was on the field. Even as he aged, just his presence provided inspiration. Whatever your opinion of him may be, I’m sure you couldn’t deny that you wouldn’t mind having Ray Lewis in your corner.