It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The first reaction was disbelief. Ray Lewis can't retire from the Baltimore Ravens. Ray Lewis is the Baltimore Ravens.
This is not your normal retirement announcement. NFL Network interrupted regularly scheduled programming to cover Lewis' retirement live and get reaction from legends around the country. Ravens teammates and coach John Harbaugh watched off camera as the scene unfolded. Lewis is one of those guys.
There are only a few players every generation that change the game. Lewis built such status through 17 years of frenzied play, including 12 Pro Bowl invites. But it's Lewis' role as a leader of men, as a cerebral tactician, as the ultimate combination of emotion and intelligence at the linebacker position that set Lewis apart.
"I don't believe it," NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders[HOF] said.
"I can't picture Baltimore without him," said Ravens running back Ray Rice.
Barry Sanders ✔ @BarrySanders I'd like to take a moment to honor a great career and player in @raylewis a worthy opponent.
Lawyer Milloy ✔ @LawyerMilloy My #NFL Classmate @raylewis delivered a powerful speech on why its time to retire after da season. His Children! That's why we don't miss it
Jarius Wynn ✔ @slickwynn94 Dang can't believe Uncle Ray Ray is hanging it up..Much respect love to watch him play, change the game and a huge inspiration .. Much love
Russell Allen ✔ @RussellAllen50 Just heard Ray Lewis is retiring. Farewell to one of the greatest and most inspirational players of all time. You will be missed #salute
Kelvin Sheppard ✔ @KelvinSheppard Just heard that the G.O.A.T Ray Lewis plans on retiring after this season words can't explain the impact he's had on my career and the game
A poll of NFL coaches selected Lewis as the most dominant player in the NFL before the 2003 season by being mentioned on ten ballots while no other player was mentioned more than twice.
On May 11, 2010, a portion of Baltimore's North Avenue was renamed "Ray Lewis Way" in honor of the linebacker and his charitable work.
"I talked to my team today and I talked to them about life in general. Everything that starts has an end. It's just life,"
"For me, today, I told my team that this would be my last ride. I told them I just felt so much peace in where I am with my decision because of everything I've done in this league. I've done it, man. There's no accolade that I don't have individually but I've never played the game for individual stats. I've only played the game to make my team be a better team.
"Now, God is calling. God is calling in so many other areas of life and my children have made the ultimate sacrifice for their father, the ultimate for 17 years. Whether it's jump on the plane, jump right back, go to school, and I don't want to see them do no more. I've done what I wanted to do in this business and now, it's my turn to give them back something. It's either hold onto the game or keep playing or let my kids miss out on times we could be sharing together. I promised my son if he got a full-ride scholarship, Daddy was going to be there. I can't miss that. I don't know if I could sit in a meeting room and fight with that war.
"One of the hardest things in the world is to walk away from my teammates because that's my brotherhood, the only thing that I ever played for is to be right there and to raise Ed and to be with Sizzle for so long and to sit next to him. We're so much on the same path. Does that part hurt? Absolutely. You can never rebuild those bonds. Those bonds are forever. But the chapter is huge for me to now step into other areas of life.
"I may be gone now. But I ain't gone forever. I'm just going in another phase of life. I think my fans, I think my city, they deserve it. They deserve that whenever this road stops, for me not just to walk away and be like, 'I'm done.' I think we all get to enjoy what Sunday will feel like knowing that this will be the last time 52 plays in a uniform in Ravens' stadium."
"You can't have Football without saying 'Ray Lewis'" - Warren Sapp
Following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000, a fight broke out between Lewis and his companions and another group of people, resulting in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. Lewis and two companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were questioned by Atlanta police, and eleven days later the three men were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges. The white suit Lewis was wearing the night of the killings has never been found. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard alleged that the bloodstained suit was dumped in a garbage bin outside a fast food restaurant.
murder charges against Lewis were dismissed in exchange for his testimony against Oakley and Sweeting, and his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice
Oakley and Sweeting were acquitted of the charges in June 2000. No other suspects have ever been arrested for the crime.