Ray Lewis retiring after playoffs
posted at 1:02 pm on January 2, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham
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.