Well well well….Ray Lewis has seemed to stir up much more than he planned to yesterday during his SportsCenter interview. His talks of crime rates rising without football this year was interpreted in multiple different ways. Without a real explanation, he left many listeners confused. If you haven’t seen the Ray Lewis interview about the lockout, I suggest you look at the post from yesterday before reading further.
I awoke this morning and turned on the radio, only to hear people dissecting and bashing Ray Lewis’s statement from yesterday. Everywhere from forums to talk shows had people trashing his comments. When I recalled back to watching the interview, I didn’t remember hearing anything odd or unusual. Upon further research, many were questioning what he meant when he said “Do this research if we don’t have a season — watch how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game.” When I heard this, I knew exactly what he meant. But obviously, some people didn’t get the memo.
Given Ray Lewis’s difficult past (more specifically his murder allegation in 2000), he knows what it is like to grow up in a crime ridden area, as well as the adversity faced by many young athletes in the NFL. I think he can relate to what younger players are going through when facing characters from their past. The point Ray is trying to make is that, football serves as an escape and distraction for those who would normally turn to a life of crime. Ray knows this better than anyone given what he’s seen in his personal experiences and the people he’s mentored throughout his career. Look at Mike Vick for example. When he started making millions of dollars, he began hanging out with shady people from his adolescence. Except this time he was no longer an average kid living in a bad neighborhood. He was a superstar that was hanging out with the wrong crowd. Ray is alluding to the fact that for those who use football as a motivation, may feel less determined or be unable to participate in their normal activities. Therefore they’ll turn to other solutions, some being crime. You may think it’s crazy logic, but it happens all the time. To players in the NFL, playing football is their job. When people lose their job they tend to resort to drastic measures. Some of which may be illegal.
Am I the only one that got this? After reading some comments on NFL.com’s article about the topic, I sure do feel like it. Some think he is talking about fans committing crimes which makes no sense whatsoever. If that was the case than I would have sold drugs and murdered people from February to August during the past few years. Others felt the need to pull the Ray Lewis murder card stating “Does this mean Ray Lewis is threatening to kill people again?” Come on people! Was it that hard to understand? Then again, maybe I’m completely wrong.
On Pardon the Interruption, Michael Wilbon said that he thinks people are looking in to it too much. I agree with him to a point. It seems that with such a lack of topics to talk about during the offseason (especially during a lockout) people are deeply analyzing whatever tweets or comments they can. Sometimes you just got to take if for what it is…
What did you think about his comments? Please discuss as I’m interested to what other peoples takes were.