Sports Talk: Lewis and a long ago violent ‘street dance’ in Atlanta, Ga.
As many of you may have read or heard, Ray Lewis is contemplating retirement, or a “last ride,” as he has said to the media, as a professional football player.
When and if he does leave the game, the Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker is considered a lock someday to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in Canton.
Just due north of Canton on Interstate 77, and not very far away, is the city of Akron.
There are some people in Akron who don’t particularly care for Lewis. You see, they believe the NFL “superstar” was involved in the murder of two of their native sons – Richard Lollar and Jacinth Baker.
Hmmmm…wonder if Lollar’s and Baker’s survivors watched the televised game of Lewis and the Ravens defeating the Indianapolis Colts 24-9 in an AFC Wildcard game this past Saturday night?
If they did, they may have seen Lewis do his pre-game dance.
Flashback, years ago in late January of 2000 after Super Bowl XXXV, Lewis reportedly engaged in another kind of dance – a violent street dance, if you will, outside a nightclub in Atlanta, Ga.
Without rehashing the incident, which has been documented extensively on the Internet, know that Lollar and Baker were knifed to death, according to reports, during a brawl.
Know, too, that Lewis and two of his buddies in his stretch limo entourage were later indicted for the murders of Lollar and Baker by Atlanta authorities.
Even later, Lewis took a plea and was only charged with a misdemeanor obstruction of justice. He also testified (snitched?) against his two friends, who as it turned out were acquitted.
Some people say that Lewis paid for all of his friends’ legal expenses, which of course on his Baltimore Ravens’ salary he could easily afford.
To this day, the Atlanta authorities reportedly say the right people were arrested – but no convictions.
There were no further arrests, and it’s as if Lollar and Baker never died. Their murderers, though, are still walking free.
Not surprisingly, these people in Akron probably don’t believe justice was ever served.
In the aftermath, Lewis also had to pay an NFL fine, and of course he was able to resume his playing career on the gridiron. Oh, yes, in 2004, he compensated Lollar’s four-year-old daughter in a courtroom settlement, avoiding a civil suit.
This year, she will be 13-years-old.
Wonder if she and her mother also watched the game in Baltimore last Saturday night?
Lewis, who is also now a preacher and evangelist, doesn’t like to talk about 13 years ago – and why would he? It’s old news, and he was after all more or less exonerated by the American judicial system.
Since the Atlanta incident, life has been pretty good to Lewis, who is a family man with children of his own, now. (He has fathered six children with four women, according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
When he has spoken on the subject, he has said that he’s completely innocent.
Some people in Akron don’t think so, though. In fact, they probably believe Lewis should be figuratively sharing a prison cell with O.J. or Rae Carruth, now, instead of getting an opportunity to play in at least one more NFL postseason game in Denver this Saturday.
This could be Lewis’s last dance on the grid, if the Ravens lose to the Broncos.
Thing is, some people in Akron believe he should never have been allowed to dance at all.
Just some Ray Lewis history to ponder when and if you watch the CBS televised football game, which is scheduled to kick off at 4:30 p.m.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or at email@example.com