“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” — Roger “Verbal” Kint, from the 1995 film “The Usual Suspects”
David Blaine, Criss Angel, and Penn & Teller have nothing on Raymond Anthony Lewis Jr.
While the former may know how to make buildings vanish into thin air, Lewis has managed to somehow make a living after football as a commentator by magically making millions of people forget how flawed of a person he truly is.
Let’s get one thing straight, Ray Lewis the football player is one of the best to ever put on a pair of shoulder pads.
But, Ray Lewis the person is a man who likes to give advice to people who probably have better moral compasses than he does.
Lewis is in the news for an appearance he made on FS1’s “Undisputed” on Monday, which is a debate show that features former NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe and former ESPN commentator Skip Bayless. The topic was Colin Kaepernick almost signing with Lewis’ former team, the Baltimore Ravens. Lewis agrees with what Kaepernick’s protest was about, but has issues with how he did it.
His appearance on the show was to basically be an apologist for why the Ravens and every other team hasn’t signed Kaepernick.
It was as if Lewis morphed into Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Stephen, from the movie “Django Unchained.”
Sharpe: “The very thing that Colin Kaepernick was protesting, is the very thing that President Trump encouraged on Friday, which was police brutality. Now Steve Bisciotti owns that team (Baltimore Ravens) and in 2015, you were there and you and I talked about it. Something happened to Freddie Gray. He lost his life for police brutality. I have yet to hear an owner talk about that. I have yet to hear Steve Bisciotti talk about that.”
Lewis: “So let’s be very careful with that, for this simple reason. Right now, there are over 200-plus murders in Baltimore. How many people you got talking about that? Nobody. So, before you put somebody in a pickle…”
Sharpe: “I’m not putting them in a pickle. So, let me ask you this. When Pookie shoots Willie, they find Pookie. And where is Pookie going? He’s going to jail. When these police shoot these unarmed Black men and women, even on camera. Where they going, Ray? Back on the force. That’s what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the police brutality. See, what they’re trying to do is when we’re talking about police brutality, they talk about Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore.
“You want me to come up with a solution, that you helped put me in.”
The look on Sharpe’s face as Lewis spoke was priceless, and hilarious, as Lewis continued to stammer and stutter his way through excuses for why NFL owners and the league shouldn’t be focused on police brutality because “it isn’t their fight.”
On Tuesday, Lewis fell even deeper into the “Sunken Place,” when he made a Twitter video directed at Kaepernick that continued his charade.
“What you do off the field, don’t let too many people know. Because they gonna judge you anyway. No matter what you do. No matter if it’s good or bad. If you do nothing else young man, get back on the football field and let your play speak for itself.”
For those of you who may not remember, Lewis was charged with two counts of murder back in 2000. He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and struck a deal in exchange for his testimony against two of his “friends” who may have been involved. Blood of one of the victims was found inside Lewis’ limo. Lewis fled the crime scene, and allegedly told everyone in the limo to “keep their mouths shut.” The white suit that Lewis wore the night of the murders has never been found, and the case remains unsolved. Lewis got off.
Yet, despite all this, the Ravens, a team agonizing over the pros and cons of signing Kaepernick, brought Lewis back with open arms.
Lewis is also regarded as one of the dirtiest players in NFL history. In 2010, Bleacher Report ranked him seventh on their “Top 25 Dirtiest NFL Players List.” He made their list again in 2011, and just last year, was named as the sixth most hated NFL player of all time by The Sporting News.
In 2013, before Super Bowl XLVII, Lewis’ name was involved in rumors that suggested that he used deer-antler spray, a banned substance, to help him heal his torn tricep so that he could be ready to return for the game.
The Ravens won that game 34-31. Colin Kaepernick was the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, and Lewis was the second leading tackler for the Ravens that day, as he picked up his second Super Bowl ring.
But still, somehow, TV executives, whether they be at ESPN or FS1, still feel that Lewis is worth putting in front of a microphone.
He is the epitome of somehow who loves to talk the talk but has never really walked the walk. Which is why it’s always been absolutely ridiculous that Lewis, a man who was once charged with murder, has the audacity to think that he can look down on, and give advice to, a man who has done nothing but kneel.
Lewis has repeatedly fooled networks and viewers into believing that he isn’t the sum of his past.
With his passionate tone and calculated hand movements, he conjures up images of piety and compassion, making people forget what they know is true. But it’s all just an illusion, a con, perpetrated by a master shaman. You’re not the first, and sadly won’t be the last.
Because when some people like what you have to say, they’ll never use your past to undermine your message, even when it’s flawed.
Lewis may be “great for TV,” but is there truly any value in his words?
That same mentality holds true with FS1’s Jason Whitlock, which is why it makes so much sense that they both work for the same network.
I don’t believe in magic or Ray Lewis.
And you shouldn’t either.
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