Sports, Hip-hop and the Street Code

ray-lewis-mugshotFor some reason I have never liked NFL superstar Ray Lewis. Maybe because he always been too bold, too brash and too cocky. I don’t know why but he seems not made out to be what he wants the public to think. In the world of sports, hip-hop and entertainment he just always struck me as a fake. And with all the publicity- good and bad- he has received lately due to the Ravens Super Bowl appearance and his impending retirement I have decided to expound on my dislike for him, for whatever reason. I believe the root of it goes back to his involvement in regards to a double murder in Atlanta in 2000.

The unsolved murders have been pinpointed by media outlets as the low point of Lewis’ otherwise stellar career. The fact remains though that two men were stabbed to death on January 31, 2000 after a Super Bowl party and Lewis and members of his entourage fled the crime scene in a limo rented by Lewis. Blood from one of the victims was found in the limo and the white suit Lewis was wearing that night conveniently disappeared. Lewis has always denied stabbing anyone and has said he didn’t know who killed the victims. Still he was charged with murder. The murder charges against him were later dropped when he pled guilty to obstruction of justice. Lewis admitted to lying to police and in exchange for the murder charge being dropped, Lewis testified for the prosecution against two of his companions that night, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting. Lewis never implicated his friends at trial and they were acquitted but Lewis testified that Oakley, Sweeting and another man had gone to a sporting goods store the previous day to buy knives. Also Lewis told the passengers in the limo, right after the stabbing occurred to keep their mouths shut.

“I’m not trying to end my career like this,” Lewis said in his hotel room that night, according to the testimony of a female passenger in the limo. Now 13 years later its evident Ray Lewis didn’t end his career that night. In fact he has gone on to many accolades and become one of the premier players in the NFL regardless of position. For his punishment he pled guilty to a misdemeanor, received 1 year of probation and a $250,000 fine by the NFL. And to this day he refuses to talk about the event. At this year’s Super Bowl media circus every time the question came up in regards to the double murder Lewis tap danced to the next question and rightly so, but suspicion doesn’t disappear at Lewis’ command, like his white suit did that night. And the fact remains that Lewis paid an undisclosed sum to the victims’ families to settle the civil suits against him. In the drug world this would be seen as hush money or a payoff to drop the course of action and keep your mouth shut. It happens all the time. It’s obvious Lewis hasn’t told everything he knows and he probably never will but for a man that wears religion on  his sleeves and is in the public eyes that makes his non-disclosure unacceptable.

If Ray Lewis had been anybody but who he was- NFL Superstar- the outcome of the case would have been much different and events would have turned out way different. Any other young black male in a similar circumstance would have been railroaded and would now be serving life in the penitentiary that is a fact. But Ray Lewis scooted through unscathed. For everything that defines Lewis’ greatness in sports- his leadership skills, his passion for the game, his lengthy and productive career and the big plays he makes every Sunday- his legacy will be forever tarnished by this event. Especially if he never comes clean concerning the event. But why should he? If he got away with murder then why not keep his mouth shut?

As a man of faith who puts himself on that pedestal by preaching a gospel of compassion Lewis should do everything in his power not to come off as a fraud. He acts like he reps the church but with his silence does he rep the street instead? It is clear he is not a no snitching advocate because he clearly testified for the prosecution but if that is how he is cut then why all the hip-hop gangsta swagger? I mean does Ray Lewis think he is 50 Cent or Nino Brown? It just doesn’t fit with all that he tries to profess. Actions speak louder than words and Ray Lewis needs to just be who he is and stop fronting. First off you testified against you man so in reality you aren’t like that. Okay you are a bad ass football player but that doesn’t mean you are a bad ass man, so stop confusing the two.

“If you want to say you’re Mr. Religious and all that, have a clean record. Don’t say all that stuff if you know there’s stuff that might come back,” former New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer said. “Those are just things that, when I look at him, I just think hypocrisy.” It seems someone else feels like I do but how do you feel? I just don’t like dudes fronting like they are this or that when they are not and Gorilla Convict says Ray Lewis you aren’t gangsta, so sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up. If you did something and got away with it be humble and enjoy the rest of your life and stop trying to make yourself out to be holier than thou. Because we already know that if it comes down to it you will snitch so stop the play acting studio gangsta. You are an NFL tough guy, not a street guy so stop fronting. Enough said.

 

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