Ray Lewis is my favorite player of all time in any sport. I believe he is the greatest leader in the history of the NFL, if not in any professional sport. Lewis has a lot of credibility when it comes to the Baltimore Ravens and what goes on within that organization.
However, Lewis questioned the leadership of the players on the Ravens’ roster on Monday night football on ESPN last night, following the incident involving Jacoby Jones and Bryant McKinnie at McKinnie’s party in D.C. I have to say I disagree with what he said.
“We talk about the transition of losing so many guys, a guy like myself and Ed Reed and other guys that are based off leadership. I’ve said it earlier: Where would the leadership come from? Because the leadership being strong in the locker room and winning games, listen talent sometimes can win you games. But when you talk about what’s going on off the field, that’s the most important place where leadership steps up.” – courtesy baltimoreravens.com
If that is what we are going to go by, did the New England Patriots lack leadership when Aaron Hernandez got arrested earlier this year?
Did the Pittsburgh Steelers lack leadership when Ben Roethlisberger had his off the field issues?
Or what about when a former Ravens’ player who is now retired, Chris McAlister, had his issues with drinking and got a DUI in 2003? Did the Ravens lack leadership then? Of course not.
My whole point with the off the field issues in the NFL is that people need to stop acting like NFL teams and players are the police or are trying to form world peace. Players in the NFL are asked to play football, not be choir boys. Are they supposed to set an example? Yes, because teams want a good image. But at the end of the day, they are asked to play football. That is the main reason the players are there, and nothing else.
When I hear people talk about the Patriot way, that the Steelers are a high class organization, or anything of that nature, it makes me sick. Their job is to get players who can help them win football games. If certain players find themselves in trouble, teams will weigh their options and figure out whether or not those troubled players are worth keeping. That’s it.
Professional sports teams are not filled with model citizens. No team is perfect, so people should stop acting like the team is the savior to off the field problems for players. They can’t save everyone.
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