X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NFL Baltimore Ravens

Ray Lewis’ legacy can’t be tarnished by constant criticism

Ray Lewis

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Ray Lewis, one of the greatest NFL linebackers of all-time, is a single game away from hanging it up on a football career that deserves far more praise than it’ll ever receive. For some reason, though, it appears that half of the league and its followers are ready to drop a deuce on his legacy.

The rain began to fall on his parade just over a week ago, when the media revisited the 2000 murder case that Lewis was involved in after the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XXXIV. Although Lewis was cleared of murder charges and slapped with a misdemeanor obstruction of justice charge, the veteran moved on and continued to be the all-encompassing father figure that Baltimore embraced with open arms. Still, when all appeared to be falling into place for a storybook ending, the whistle blowers came rushing out of the woodwork.

So when the latest accusation arose that Lewis used Performance Enhancing Drugs during his 2012 rehabilitation from a torn triceps muscle, it just showed that the NFL world appears bent on bursting his bubble.

What’s the problem? This whole PED issue never came up before the Ravens made the Super Bowl, but this information just happens to pop up a few days before the big game? No one ever brought up the murder trial in the last decade or so, so why now? To me, it just seems like the “haters” are doing what they can to rattle Lewis before arguably the biggest (and last) game of his career.

Throughout his NFL career, Lewis has been nothing less than a model citizen. While some of the league’s young stars come in and find their way into the tabloids, Lewis has helped the Ravens foster one of the most supportive locker rooms in the NFL with his leadership. He’s become the face of the Baltimore franchise and is the driving force behind everything that the Ravens stand for.

This week’s ridiculous circus of criticism was manufactured by the media to increase views and fill airtime as the Super Bowl draws near. Plus, who wouldn’t want a tantalizing, dramatic story to unfold about a future Hall of Famer the week before he ends his career on the highest note possible? Right? Right?

Wrong. It would take much more to fluster Lewis after everything he’s been through.

Please, just let Lewis enjoy this final glimpse of glory before he hangs it up for good. I know you have to fill quotas and entertain the audience somehow, but it’s time to put the drama aside and let Lewis live out his last few days as an NFL player in peace.

Enough unburying decade-old issues and pointing fingers; let the man ride off into the sunset.

Gil Alcaraz IV is a Network Manager/NFL featured columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.