I can’t root for Ray Lewis or the Ravens. First of all, I’m a Steelers’ fan. But mostly, I can’t root for Ray Lewis because of this (from Wikipedia):
Following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000, a fight broke out between Lewis and his companions and another group of people, resulting in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. Lewis and two companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were questioned by Atlanta police, and 11 days later the three men were indicted on murder and aggravated-assault charges. The white suit Lewis was wearing the night of the killings has never been found. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard alleged the blood-stained suit was dumped in a garbage bin outside a fast food restaurant.
Lewis’ attorneys, Don Samuel and Ed Garland, of the Atlanta law firm Garland, Samuel & Loeb, negotiated a plea agreement with Howard, where the murder charges against Lewis were dismissed in exchange for his testimony against Oakley and Sweeting, and his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. Lewis admitted he gave a misleading statement to police on the morning after the killings. Superior Court Judge Alice D. Bonner sentenced Lewis to 12 months’ probation, the maximum sentence for a first-time offender, and he was fined $250,000 by the NFL, which was believed to be the highest fine levied against an NFL player for an infraction not involving substance abuse. Under the terms of the sentence, Lewis could not use drugs or alcohol during the duration of the probation.
Oakley and Sweeting were acquitted of the charges in June 2000. No other suspects have ever been arrested for the crime.
The following year, Lewis was named Super Bowl XXXV MVP. However, the signature phrase “I’m going to Disney World!” was given instead to quarterback Trent Dilfer.
On April 29, 2004, Lewis reached a settlement with four-year-old India Lollar, born months after the death of her father Richard, pre-empting a scheduled civil proceeding. Lewis also reached an undisclosed settlement with Baker’s family.
Now Lewis may have tried to make amends since, and may have been a good citizen since. I can’t answer that.
What I wonder about is his degree of culpability in what happened. Should Lewis have gone to jail? Did he commit murder or manslaughter?
What I don’t wonder about is this: that the Ray Lewis farewell tour media suck-up disgusts me.
The kissing up that the media is doing disgusts me completely. It’s one thing to call him the greatest middle linebacker ever. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t.
But ask yourself, outside of what you just read, have ANY of the media that is currently sucking up to Lewis and kissing his ass in his final games mentioned ANYTHING about what happened those many years ago? Has any media outlet mentioned it at all?
That’s what disgusts me. There are two sides of the coin here.
Praise Lewis for his football career, but don’t forget his involvement, whether major or minor, in the deaths of two people.