Green Room

Ray Lewis retiring after playoffs

posted at 1:02 pm on January 2, 2013 by

Via USA Today, he’s 37:

The team announced on its Twitter feed Wednesday that the longtime face of the franchise announced to his teammates that “this will be my last ride.”

Lewis plans to meet with reporters later today to discuss his decision but feels, via the team, “It’s time for me to create a new legacy.”

Lewis’ 17th and final season won’t go down as one of his more memorable ones. He hasn’t played since tearing his right triceps Oct. 15, missing 10 games. He was activated from the club’s short-term injured reserve list Dec. 26 but didn’t suit up in the regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.

He does plan to be in uniform Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

“There is no reason for me not to be playing Sunday,” he said.

If his motivational speeches and interviews are any indication, he’ll have plenty of TV offers.

I’ve been torn about Lewis since he faced murder charges in the 2000 stabbing deaths of two men in Atlanta. Both died as a result of their injuries after a large altercation broke out at a Super Bowl party between Lewis’ companions and the victims’ group of friends. Neither Lewis nor his companions were convicted. The murder charge against Lewis was dropped in exchange for testimony against his two companions, who were acquitted. Lewis was sentenced to probation for obstruction of justice.

Charismatic leader though his is, he appears to have led a violent life before his NFL career, accused by two girlfriends during his days at University of Miami of assault. He was investigated but not charged.

But he also appears to be a man who has a story of redemption through faith. He has never been found guilty in the justice system and he is clean in the eyes of the Lord. (Correction: He obviously was found guilty of obstruction of justice, but not the more serious murder or assault charges.) Your mileage may vary on how much that allows you to laud his NFL career, but I’d hate to dismiss the idea of a young man from a violent past, with no father figure, going on to find God and success who’s intent on inspiring others to do the same.

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Lewis plans to meet with reporters later today to discuss his decision but feels, via the team, “It’s time for me to create a new legacy.”

Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar were unavailable for comment.

Mitoch55 on January 2, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Is he reporting to prison post retirement?

stvnscott on January 2, 2013 at 1:11 PM

… and he is clean in the eyes of the Lord. (Correction: He obviously was found guilty of obstruction of justice, but not the more serious murder or assault charges.) Your mileage may vary on how much that allows you to laud his NFL career, but I’d hate to dismiss the idea of a young man from a violent past, with no father figure, going on to find God and success who’s intent on inspiring others to do the same.

More like found the words of an agent relating the connection between endorsements and a good-guy image plausible. Hopefully, your “mileage” allows for healthy skepticism.

M240H on January 2, 2013 at 1:18 PM

It’s too bad. I love Ray Lewis. If anybody hasn’t seen his episode of a football life on the NFL network, I highly recommend it!

Dave From Canada on January 2, 2013 at 1:21 PM

I didn’t see nuthin!

forest on January 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Man of God: His four baby mamas and six children are all broken up about his pending retirement.

WordsMatter on January 2, 2013 at 1:45 PM

He’s 37 – he’s not old. 🙂

22044 on January 2, 2013 at 1:55 PM

He’ll be missed. Always enjoyed rooting against him. I think Ed Reed might be out the door as well.

22044 on January 2, 2013 at 1:56 PM

I very much believe that he’s a changed man, based on numerous accounts of those around him and his press conference today. I wish him the best and am personally glad for my Texans that they won’t have to face him after this year. He’ll be a first-round hall-of-famer, for sure.

TXUS on January 2, 2013 at 2:04 PM

“I don’t own no white suit!”

Ward Cleaver on January 2, 2013 at 2:17 PM

As a Steeler fan, I won’t miss him.

Ward Cleaver on January 2, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Well, now that he’s retiring, he’ll have plenty of time to catch up on all of his stabbing and wife-beating.

Thug.

Hayabusa on January 2, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Charismatic leader though his is, he appears to have led a violent life before his NFL career

Whaa?! That’s not the NFL I know… /s

Wyznowski on January 2, 2013 at 2:55 PM

By all accounts, Ray Lewis is a different man now than he was as a young player. Had a real awful childhood, too. Made something out of himself. His determination and heart on the field is a thing of marvel, and his charitable work off the field (the vast majority of it intentionally unpublicized) is truly admirable. He made a change for the better, showed it means something, and I wish him all the best.

Esoteric on January 2, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Excellent middle linebacker.

But he takes a back seat to, among others, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, and Brian Urlacher, all of da Chicago Bears.

BuckeyeSam on January 2, 2013 at 3:13 PM

By all accounts, Ray Lewis is a different man now than he was as a young player. Had a real awful childhood, too.

Esoteric on January 2, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Supposedly, so was Tookie Williams:

Stanley Tookie Williams III (December 29, 1953 – December 13, 2005) was a leader of the Crips, a notorious American street gang which has its roots in South Central Los Angeles in 1969. In 1979 he was convicted of four murders committed in the course of robberies, sentenced to death, and eventually executed. Once incarcerated, he authored several books, including anti-gang and anti-violence literature and children’s books.

Williams refused to help police investigate his gang, and was implicated in attacks on guards and women, as well as multiple escape plots. In 1993, Williams began making changes in his behavior, and became an anti-gang activist while on Death Row in California. He renounced his gang affiliation and apologized for his role in founding the Crips, although still refused to help police investigate the gang

Williams was executed by lethal injection after clemency and a four-week stay of execution were both rejected by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, amidst debate over the death penalty and whether Williams’ anti-gang advocacy in prison represented genuine atonement for his quadruple murder or was just a way to escape execution.

Mitoch55 on January 2, 2013 at 3:28 PM

I’ve been torn about Lewis since he faced murder charges in the 2000 stabbing deaths of two men in Atlanta. Both died as a result of their injuries after a large altercation broke out at a Super Bowl party between Lewis’ companions and the victims’ group of friends. Neither Lewis nor his companions were convicted. The murder charge against Lewis was dropped in exchange for testimony against his two companions, who were acquitted. Lewis was sentenced to probation for obstruction of justice.

The day Lewis gets up on a pulpit and admits as to what he really did, THEN I’ll care…

Khun Joe on January 2, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Sorry, in my opinion, Lewis got away with murder so if he really is a changed man saved by God then he should confess to what really happened.

stukinIL4now on January 2, 2013 at 9:47 PM

On the night of the crimes Ray Lewis stripped his clothes off of him and threw them away before he returned to wherever he was staying.

Does that sound like something an innocent man would do?

But he preaches now and loves Jesus. So that means it doesn’t matter, or something.

Moesart on January 2, 2013 at 11:52 PM

I suspect that Lewis is already ‘retired’ and will only make a motivational showing on the field. (Think Willis Reed)

Freddy on January 3, 2013 at 1:03 AM

Excellent middle linebacker.

But he takes a back seat to, among others, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, and Brian Urlacher, all of da Chicago Bears.

BuckeyeSam on January 2, 2013 at 3:13 PM

And, of course, those guys are all ‘back benchers’ to Jack Lambert.

Freddy on January 3, 2013 at 1:08 AM

I’ve been torn about Lewis since he faced murder charges in the 2000 stabbing deaths of two men in Atlanta.

Yeah, and we haven’t had a Super Bowl here since. Don’t believe the official NFL line about the Georgia Dome being too old; this year’s game will be in the Superdome which is considerably older.

radjah shelduck on January 3, 2013 at 7:57 AM


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