A History of Violence (it’s not about the Movie)

A History of Violence (it’s not about the Movie)



Was Ray Lewis overrated as a linebacker in the NFL? Was he a violent man who loved inflicting pain? Was Lewis a participant in the murder of two men following the Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXIV victory? (The white suit Lewis was wearing when the two men were stabbed to death has never been found). This is about a man with an attitude which has been reflected by his actions and has now made statements about Ray Rice that appear defensive. This is a history of violence, and it’s not about the movie.

Ray Lewis has received accolades for his charitable work. He claims to be a devout Christian. Is this a cover-up for his true self? You be the judge.

His football statistics are excellent, but they often reflect the actions of the other ten men on defense which offered him the chance to imitate greatness. In 17 seasons he had tackles totaling 2,061, and 41.5 sacks. He has two Super Bowl rings and multiple all-pro awards. But does this define the man in the uniform? And why is he an ESPN commentator?

Sunday Chris Berman soft-balled questions to Lewis. His responses were less than definitive regarding the issue of domestic violence, and more supportive of not only Rice but NFL players in general. His first statement was an acknowledgement of his indebtedness to the Ravens.

“This one of those situations that” — Lewis clears his throat, because this is a dramatic moment — “it’s family. I spent 17 years of my career at this one place. I’ve known general manager Ozzie Newsome now for 19 years of my life. That’s half of my life. I’ve known Steve Bisciotti for 15 years of my life. Each one of those men, bottom line, has never lied to me. Once. They’ve given me an opportunity at life, not only to change my life, but my family’s life as well, my kids’ life. If this incident, what we’re dealing with, if they could do this all over again, they would.”

If this sounds a bit defensive, it is much more than that.

“Whether they saw the tape [of Rice punching out his fiancee], who really knows, other than the people who [were] actually there. But sometimes I think we get lost in trying to find out whose head to go after, and who to attack now about what they didn’t do. Sometimes we forget why we’re here. We’re here for one reason and one reason only. We’re here for domestic violence. We’re here because we saw a friend of mine brutally hit his wife in the face on an elevator. There’s some things you can cover up. And there’s some things you can’t.”

Are we lost or are the victims minimized?

“What was built over that many of years, it took hard work to get that. It took a hell of reputation to put on the line. Men’s families, men’s lives, on how to actually get acclimated as a pro. So yeah, I get offended when you talk about a guy by the name of Ozzie Newsome, absolutely. He’s one of the five-star generals in this, in this world, as a man. I don’t want us to lose sight of what’s really going on here. Ray Rice put a lot of people in jeopardy because of his actions. A lot of people in jeopardy. Not just himself. He needs to understand that. Because none of this happens if what happened that night in that elevator. If I ask anything in this whole thing, I ask, let there be light.”

Lewis continues to defend Baltimore’s management.

A question has been asked by several sports writers; why is Ray Lewis a member of the ESPN broadcasting team? What are his qualifications? He was a member of a team which included a violent and effective defense, but has no knowledge of the game as a whole.

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe said it best.

“What has become obvious — never more so than during his shameful performance on yesterday’s morning edition of “Sunday NFL Countdown” — is that no matter what you think of Lewis’s self-aggrandizement and cloudy past, he lacks every rudimentary quality expected of an analyst.


“The list of what he has working for him ends at two: He’s a big-name ex-player, and he has an intense charisma. The former is hardly scarce — the NFL pregame show landscape is speckled with semi-charming former stars. And the latter gets old as soon as you realize how phony it is.

“Lewis emphasizes and over-enunciates random words. He is addicted to the pregnant pause. He proselytizes to obfuscate. He requires these affectations in a desperate attempt to give his words the weight they lack. It works only on the already converted. He’s the same bad actor he ever was.”

Simply said, for any fan who actually understands the intricacy of professional football, Lewis is a buffoon.

If I were Lewis, I would resign my position as an analyst for ESPN. He is entirely unqualified.

James Turnage