Almost 17 years have passed by since former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis and two other men were charged with murder and aggravated assault following an incident at a Super Bowl party in 2000. Despite his murder charge being dismissed, people still accuse Lewis of being a cold-blooded killer whenever his name is brought up.
On that fateful night in Atlanta almost two decades ago, two men lost their lives due to multiple stab wounds. However, none of the men on trial for their deaths, including Lewis, were found to be guilty of committing murder.
Instead, the former linebacker agreed to a plea deal and was convicted of a much lesser charge while the other two men on trial were acquitted of all charges. A jury came to a conclusion that the deaths were a result of self-defense rather than a malicious attack on two innocent men.
So then what is the reasoning for all of the hate that still seems to find its way to Lewis after all these years?
Is it because he was eventually able to find redemption out on the football field and lead his team to multiple Super Bowl victories? Is it because he wore his spirituality on his sleeve and actually became one of the most popular players during his time in the NFL?
Some may have interpreted his attitude on the field as cocky or boastful, but Lewis had every right to be that way.
During his 17 seasons in the league with the Baltimore Ravens, the former linebacker was voted to 13 Pro Bowls, named to seven All-Pro teams, was the AP Defensive Player of the Year twice, and was named the Super Bowl MVP in 2000. His 2,643 career tackles are the most ever in the history of the Ravens franchise.
If he were not as successful during his time in the league, would he have received as much ridicule? Maybe not, but a person should not be faulted for their achievements in life just because some may feel they are undeserving.
There are not many people in this world that could have come back from such a dramatic, life-changing experience like the one Lewis had while on trial. When he returned to the field he almost seemed rejuvenated and full of motivation.
He was somewhat given a second chance to be successful in life and he did his best to take advantage of the opportunity he received.
So maybe the next time someone decides to leave a nasty comment in Lewis’ social media feed about him being a murderer, someone can explain to them that an actual jury found that to not be the case. But what do they know?