Friday, February 15, 2013

Ray Lewis: Guilty or Redeemed?

With the end of Super Bowl XLVII fresh on many fans’ minds and Baltimore Linebacker Ray Lewis’s career in the NFL closing out, questions linger as to how this man will be remembered. Will he be remembered as the guilty man responsible for the murders of two men? Or will he be praised for turning his life around and becoming a better man?

After winning Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000, Ray Lewis was suspected of murdering two men outside an Atlanta club. The two men, Richard Lollar and Jacinth Baker, were stabbed to death by Lewis’s posse and left the scene in Lewis’s limo. Blood was found in the limo Ray Lewis was using and he reportedly told everyone in the limousine to “keep their mouths shut” and later on in the hotel to a female who was in the limousine “I’m not trying to end my career like this”. 

When brought to trial, “only Lewis pleaded guilty in relation to the case: for obstruction of justice, a misdemeanor. He originally was charged with two counts of murder but struck a deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against two of his companions that night, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting” (Schrotenboer, 2013). 

Over the last 13 years, Lewis has repeatedly denied having murdered anyone and has expressed his grief and sorrow for the families' losses. In 2010, Lewis stated in an interview with The Baltimore Sun, "I'm telling you, no day leaves this Earth without me asking God to ease the pain of anybody who was affected by that whole ordeal." he said. "He's a God who tests people — not that he put me in that situation, because he didn't make me go nowhere. I put myself in that situation."

Ray Lewis has certainly been a phenomenal athlete and leader on the football field. During the 2012 season, Lewis overcame a torn triceps early in the season and returned to rally his team through the playoffs. In his final game as an NFL player, Lewis helped his team win another Super Bowl victory. 

Although Ray Lewis ended his NFL career on a high note the final chapter has yet to be written.   How will fans remember Ray Lewis? Is he the guilty man tied to the two men who were murdered in Atlanta? Or has Ray Lewis transformed his ways to choose a better path by walking in his faith with God?   Guilty or Redeemed --- your thoughts???


  1. Interesting questions! Personally, I have to go with 'redeemed'. I have a difficult time judging others especially when I don't know the 'rest of the story'. If the American judicial system did not find him guilty of murder, then I have to accept that verdict. Persecution based on gossip is a dangerous path to tread. Just my thoughts for what it's worth.

  2. I'm frustrated with the way Lewis links all things God to all things worldy. All his football success is "God" and everytime he wins it's because "no weapon formed against him shall prosper." In 2000 a weapon formed against two men "prospered." Does that mean God wasn't there? A "weapon formed against" Ray's teams has prospered many times - he's only won two Super Bowls in his long career. Does that mean Ray wasn't following God those seasons, or that the men at the club were greater sinners than Ray, so they died and he didn't? It appears to me that Ray uses his god as just another reason to prop up his own ambition and justify his life. His "god" allows him to win Super Bowls while the god of the 49ers must not have been powerful enough. His god allows him to avoid muder conviction while the god of two men in Atlanta couldn't defend their lives. Ray claims God has blessed him so that in all his success he could give God all the glory. Does God become more glorious when a man wins a Super Bowl? Let's be honest, wouldn't someone from the 49ers have proclaimed the now oh-so-common, "first, I want to give all the glory to God, I couldn't have done it without him" phrase had they won the game? I would love for Ray to shut his mouth about a god that tests his spirit and gives glory to his flesh. I'm not saying that a true man of God can't experience fleshly/worldly success. The most successful man to walk the earth was Jesus, according to Ray's own beliefs. He may want to look closer to see that Jesus had no place to lay his head, and essentially no wordly success. Yet, he managed to truly "give glory to God."

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