Ray Lewis had built his reputation on taking on obstacles head-on, whether it was blockers or ball-carriers, during his illustrious 17-year NFL career. Too bad he has been dodging other obstacles like Walter Payton in his prime during Super Bowl week.
Lewis had been peppered with questions concerning his role in the double-murder in Atlanta 13 years ago and allegations that he took deer antler spray (I don’t know about you, but that sounds disgusting) from a company called Sports With Alternatives To Steroids (SWATS). The only thing was he refused to answer the questions with the same thoughtfulness he normally gives to other inquiries.
Now I do not have a problem with Lewis not answering those questions per se. After all, he nor other athletes are not obligated to address any question that is not to his liking.
I just think for a guy who likes being in the spotlight, he seems pretty damn hypocritical in shying away from answering those questions while invoking his Christian beliefs in doing so.
What really got me was when he uttered the gem “nobody in this room is qualified to ask those questions”. Hey Ray, most of the media have not played a down in the NFL – let alone the Super Bowl – but you don’t mind them asking you questions about your illustrious Hall of Fame career? About your intense, storied rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers? About you and Eddie George bringing out the best in each other on the football field, mainly because both of you were drafted near each other in the first round?
Most of the media are more sinners than Christians (aren’t we all?), but Lewis does not mind discussing his Christian transformation from that fateful night in Atlanta. Nor the awesome charitable work he does with the youth in Baltimore. Nor the positive influence he has on other current and former players in the NFL (see Big Ben, Chad Johnson, and many others).
Yet no one can get Lewis to share his thoughts on that Atlanta incident and the deer antler spray allegations.
What made me more upset was when he used religion as a reason for not answering those questions. “This is God’s time”, he said.
I guess it wasn’t God’s time 13 years ago when those two young brothers got stabbed to death. I guess it’s not God’s time to be with the families of those young men when they have to see Lewis’ mug in this year’s Super Bowl.
And yes, I know that Lewis said that he has to live with that everyday since that night. But saying “this is God’s time” is a big slap in the face of those families to this day, and he has to know that.
Lewis should take a page out of 49ers safety Chris Culliver’s book. Culliver was the one who made those idiotic comments about gays and the prospect of playing with a gay athlete when asked by Artie Lange of all people. Culliver handled the aftermath with far more class than Lewis did. Whether Culliver was sincere in his apology or not (I think Culliver was more honest in his anti-gay stance), he tackled the aftermath head-on, manned up, and faced the music.
Again, no one is saying that Lewis was wrong in not answering those tough questions. Just don’t use religion and the media’s lack of qualifications as excuses to punk out.