Ray Lewis Enters Hall of Fame Sheltered by NFL
Sports Illustrated looks how league continues to cover over Ravens star's past.
On a day Baltimore Ravens legend Ray Lewis received his sport’s highest honor, induction into the NFL Hall of Fame, Sports Illustrated tackled the linebacker’s less savory legacy.
And magazine writer Robert Klemko had some harsh words for both the league and the media members who voted him in for not pushing for answers on Lewis’s past obstruction of justice charges in the murders of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar in Atlanta before the 2000 Super Bowl.
Klemko has personal experience: As a writer for USA Today, he had attempted to speak to Ray Lewis in the Ravens locker room in 2013 for a story about Baker and Lollar’s families still seeking justice. But the public relations department lashed out at him and the players froze him out of future interviews in retribution.
Incredulously, Lewis even attempted to play the victim the following week in the locker room, according to Klemko. “Whatever you’re saying, I forgive you,” the defensive stalwart reportedly told him. “You were No. 1 in my prayers last night. You don’t have to apologize.”
Klemko clearly doesn’t feel the need to apologize.
“For 13 years, Ray Lewis had hidden from his history,” Klemko wrote Saturday. “He hid behind his talent. He hid behind his religion. Most effectively, he hid behind his team’s PR staff. His case isn’t rare. The league insulates players in protective bubbles, and in doing so creates its own warped sense of morality that reporters are expected to adhere to.”
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