Retired NFL linebacker Ray Lewis traveled to London and joined over a dozen members of his former Baltimore Ravens team in getting down on both knees to protest America during the singing of the U.S. national anthem on Sunday.
Lewis was there as an honorary captain for the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, many of whom also got down on their knees on foreign soil in an outright protest of President Trump, who condemned the action as disrespectful to America.
Of all the players to kneel during the tribute, Lewis’ action has gained tremendous attention, as it has been noted he has a lot of “baggage” in his background that has not yet been forgotten.
When quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the kneeling trend last year, Lewis actually condemned such action.
“And I’ve said this many times, we both agree, like, what he did, I’m 100 percent for racial justice, 100 percent,” Lewis said. “Trust me, I lived it myself. So, you don’t have to convince me of that part. How he did it? Totally different thing. I don’t totally agree with that.”
Another issue from Lewis’ past not readily forgotten is that he got off light in a Jan. 2000 murder case involving two of his friends.
On the morning of Jan. 31, 2000, Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar were both stabbed to death outside a nightclub in Atlanta, during a brutal street fight following a Super Bowl party.
Lewis was charged in the case, along with two of his friends, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting.
Although the case was never completely solved, it is reported Lewis was not involved in the actual fight that killed the two men, but his friends were. Lewis was concerned the messy affair would hurt his NFL career and made his friends promise to keep silent on the matter in a limo afterward.
He then reportedly lied to police the next morning and was, therefore, charged with obstruction of justice. To save himself, he pleaded guilty to the charge in exchange for testifying against his friends.
USA Today relayed further details of the story:
Lewis never directly linked his two friends to the killings, and they were acquitted. Lewis had testified that Oakley, Sweeting and another man had gone to a sporting goods store the previous day to buy knives. Baker’s blood later was found in Lewis’ limo. Having fled the crime scene, Lewis told the limo’s passengers to “keep their mouths shut.” The white suit Lewis was wearing that night — on Super Bowl Sunday — never was found.
“I’m not trying to end my career like this,” Lewis said in his hotel that night, according to the testimony of a female passenger in the limo.
He didn’t. For his punishment, Lewis received one year of probation and a $250,000 fine by the NFL.
In a 2013 interview, Baker’s uncle, Greg Wilson, told USA Today Sports, “My nephew was brutally beaten and murdered and nobody is paying for it. Everything is so fresh in our mind, it’s just like it happened yesterday. We’ll never forget this.”
Many others have not forgotten it either, as the matter was brought up repeatedly on Twitter after Lewis knelt on foreign soil Sunday during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
.@raylewis takes knee on foreign soil as our flag is raised & natl anthem played. He insults every man & woman who died defending that flag.
— Donna Cahill (@DTCahill) September 24, 2017
Ravens players, along with Ray Lewis, take a knee during the national anthem in London. pic.twitter.com/TcMnCvj33b
— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) September 24, 2017
Ray Lewis (the man who killed a black man) is taking a knee to protest blacks being killed.
You can’t make this stuff up#TakeTheKnee
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) September 24, 2017
Ray Lewis is a clown. Last year he criticized Kaep for kneeling. Today he was on one knee before the game. #makeupyourmind
— MrGetChuRite (@mrgetchurite) September 24, 2017
Ray Lewis should take a knee every day of his life for what he got away with
— Sean Spicier (@sean_spicier) September 24, 2017
Ray Lewis takes knee, but stood against the Ravens signing Colin Kaepernick pic.twitter.com/3Y2PRTuaIF
— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) September 24, 2017
— B (@BrandieW3) September 25, 2017
Ray Lewis isn’t taking a knee, he just fell and can’t get up. That’s why he’s on both knees 😂 pic.twitter.com/btw2UmUlAP
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 24, 2017
— Shane Richmond (@Poe_Faced) September 23, 2017
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 23, 2017
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