Thirteen years ago, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was involved in an altercation outside an Atlanta nightclub in which two people (Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar) were stabbed to death. Lewis, along with his associates, fled the scene. There was blood on Lewis’s white suit, which, to date, has not been found. Lewis would later be exonerated of the murder charges while pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, which is a misdemeanor.
As Lewis gets ready to play in what may be his last game in the NFL on Saturday against the Denver Broncos, family members of those victims still have not forgiven Lewis.
They remain angry at an NFL they think put winning football games, celebrity, and profits above justice.
Greg Wilson, the uncle of Jacinth Baker, one of the murdered victims, who helped raise Baker, said he cannot bear to even see Lewis on television.
“I cringe. I just cringe,” Wilson said to USA Today. “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.”
Wilson said he does not even want a meeting with Lewis and any meeting “would not have been a peaceful meeting.” He said he will be “very upset” if they induct Lewis into the Hall of fame because there are “other people out there that committed a lesser crime and they’re sitting in jail.”
“We have no compassion for Ray Lewis, for Art Modell, for any of them. We don’t want to see him,” Wilson said, noting that Baker, who was murdered 13 years ago, “was raised in our home.”
He added that, “the problem to me is America was more interested in him playing football instead of him paying the price for what he was involved in.”
“They wanted nothing to happen to him. (Team owner) Art Modell didn’t want his golden boy to suffer, so he could make money for him,” Wilson said. “So they did all they could to get him out of trouble.”
On the night of the murders, Lewis reportedly said in his hotel room, “I’m not trying to end my career like this,” according to the testimony of female passenger who had fled the murder scene with Lewis and associates in his limo.
Lewis was originally charged with “two counts of murder but struck a deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against two of his companions that night”:
Lewis never implicated his two friends at trial, 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.
The NFL fined Lewis $250,000 and put him on probation for a year. He did not miss any games or receive any other disciplinary action.