Most young teenager kids between the ages of 12-17 who love Ravens middle linebacker think of him as the master motivator, the smooth suit wearing, anchor of the Baltimore Ravens making his final journey through the NFL playoffs.
For those of us that can remember, Ray Lewis was extremely close to not being in this position. Before he was a Super Bowl winner and Defensive MVP in 2001, Lewis was on trial for his life after being at the scene of a double murder in Atlanta during Super Week in 2000.
Lewis along with Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were charged with the murder of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. Ray Lewis was eventually charged with obstruction of Justice, a Misdemeanor after he agreed to testify against Oakley and Sweeting.
Lewis never snitched on the men or linked them to the murders, and a few weeks later both men were acquitted. The only real truth to ever come out of that night, was that there was a huge brawl outside of a club, two men were stabbed to death, and Bakers blood was found in Lewis limo after he fled.
Some thirteen years later, the family of the two victims still can’t believe it happened, and as they told USA Today, some do not like Ray Lewis, and they definitely don’t forgive him.
Priscilla Lollar: “If I truly accept that he’s not coming back … ” says Lollar, her voice trailing off. “I don’t discuss him in the past. I don’t really acknowledge anything.”
“My nephew was brutally beaten and murdered and nobody is paying for it,” Baker’s uncle, Greg Wilson, told USA TODAY Sports. “Everything is so fresh in our mind, it’s just like it happened yesterday. We’ll never forget this.”
“Every time I see him, I think of my nephew,” Lollar-Owens says.
“I’ve seen where he was speaking about family and stuff, and I’m quite sure that every time he sees his son, he thinks about the son, grandson and father that we lost,” Lollar-Owens says. “It would be impossible not to. Never a day goes by that we don’t think about him.”
Greg Wilson-Uncle of Jacinth Baker: I’ll be very upset if they induct (Lewis) into the Hall of Fame. There’s other people out there that committed a lesser crime and they’re sitting in jail.”
Baker, his nephew, “was raised in our home,” Wilson says. “We have no compassion for Ray Lewis, for Art Modell, for any of them. We don’t want to see him.”
I can remember the Ray Lewis double murder trial vividly like it was yesterday. No one but Ray Lewis and and his two co defendants know what actually happened that night.
I believe no one is perfect, and regardless of whatever imperfections Lewis once had, he’s definitely traveled the road to redemption these past 13 years.
On the other hand I can’t imagine how the family of the two deceast fill, nor would I expect them to have much love for Lewis or sympathy for anything he might go through.
All in all it’s just a sad reminder of 13 years ago.