The murder trial
Lewis wasn’t always viewed as a model citizen. On January 31, 2000, Lewis attended a Super Bowl party that suddenly escalated into an incident that somewhat defined his career.
Lewis was involved in a fight that resulted in the stabbing deaths of two men. Lewis was brought in for questioning, along with two of his friends, in regards to the murders, but resulted in indictments for all three men to the murder and aggravated assault charges they faced. Lewis ended up ultimately taking a guilty plea agreement to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice, in exchange for a testimony against the two men that were involved in the incident. The two men Lewis testified against were acquitted of the charges in June of the same year.
“Your team is led by a murderer.”
“Lewis is and always will be a criminal.”
“He doesn’t belong in the NFL because he killed two men.”
Is this incident the main reason for his transformation of his character? It had to be instrumental, but probably not the main reason.
His ability to overcome this incident is evident in his performance the following season as he was awarded the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award and Super Bowl MVP when the Ravens won it all during the 2000 season.
His ability to overcome adversity and prove his naysayers wrong was evident with how he elevated his game both on the field as a player and as a leader of men.
A great man that will never be forgotten
The main reason Lewis is retiring is the promise he made to his family. Some may feel as if the triceps injury is the straw to break the camel’s back, but he ultimately knew this would be his final season regardless.
His son, Ray Lewis III, just earned a full scholarship to the University of Miami (FL) — where his father played college football and ultimately propelled him into the NFL. Lewis has stated time and time again that he wants to be highly involved in his children’s lives after football because they’ve made so many sacrifices during his career as a professional football player. He made a promise to himself that he will be at each and every game Ray Lewis III will play in during his college career.
It is commendable that Ray has the integrity to stick to his guns and hold true to himself and to everyone in his life that he is all about family over everything.
Ray will be remembered as one of the greatest on the defensive side of the ball. He will also be remembered for his ability to entertain people with his pre-game chants, his speeches and of course his dance.
However, he will be remembered for his personality and selfless nature.
Sam Adams said it best.
“The video age has been great to us to be able to cherish people for many years to come,” Adams said. “It’s not the dance that inspires us, it’s Ray. Not his antics and the things he does, anything he does is inspiring. We love him and he was always good to us. He’s always been a nice guy. If I ever needed anything, even if he took 100 years to call you back, he’d call you back. He gives as much to his teammates as we gave him.”
Thank you Ray Lewis for what you have meant to the city of Baltimore. We will miss you on the field and on the sidelines always entertaining us with your physical nature and your passion.
He may not be the best linebacker in the game like he was earlier in his career, but you can bet that Lewis will play each play like it’s his last because it very well could be.
It wouldn’t be anything new for Ravens fans. We’re used to seeing him perform at maximum effort.
The No. 52 should NEVER be worn by anyone ever again in Baltimore simply because there will never be another.
See you on Monday Night Countdown.