If you still have hate and ill will towards Baltimore Ravens defensive star Ray Lewis, I hate to tell you but you’re probably racist. I hope you realize I’m kidding here (kinda) as I realize I’m opening a can of worms but I’m going to press on.
When it comes to being a sports fan, outside of the great plays and our teams winning, we are all driven by a great story. Lewis announced that he would retire after the 2013 season while making an attempt to come back from a triceps injury in October. Ray is known for his energetic play and motivational spirit that has led one of the strongest defensive teams in recent years. He was even named Super Bowl MVP at XXXV.
He is also known for the incident that followed a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000. A fight broke out between Lewis and two companions that resulted in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lolla. Lewis was sentenced to 12 months’ probation (max for a first time offender) where under the terms he was not allowed to use drugs or alcohol. He was also fined $250,000 by the NFL. His companions were acquitted of the charges and in 2004; Lewis reached a settlement with the daughter of Richard Lolla who was born months after his death.
Fast forward to the 2013 NFL playoffs where the Baltimore Ravens will be facing the Sanfrancisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. Ray Lewis is one game away from a great ending to a long exciting story and career. His emotion on the field during this playoff season has been under a microscope like never before and the internet as we know spares no man. (Type in Ray Lewis Meme or Ray Lewis GIF’s in your google search)
While all of this is hilarious, interesting and so much more, there are many that feel Ray Lewis doesn’t deserve to be in this position and get this much attention. Names like “Thug”, “Murderer”, & others I won’t mention hear are ringing out on the web and most likely inside your local bar. ESPN even ran a special about his case shortly after announcing that they plan to hire him when he retires. The conversation of who is a good role model and who isn’t can be never ending; I think we should be reminded that Ray Lewis is a human being that plays football.
While I don’t condone the actions that took place back in January of 2000, I feel he is being judged on the wrong field. (Pun intended) Lewis’ record has been spotless since the incident with enough charitable events and good deeds in towns across the country to most likely fill your hard drive. There have even been talks of his relationship with his children but correct me if I’m wrong, it’s none of our business.
Ray Lewis is a linebacker in the NFL and we pay to see him make plays and maybe do that weird dance. (Depending on whom you’re rooting for) He was sentenced by a Superior Court judge and did his time. He has moved on and America should too. Everyone deserves a second chance (Enter Michael Vick) and 13 years later, I think it’s time we gave Ray one.