Ray Lewis, the man who helped the Baltimore Ravens win two Super Bowl titles between 2000 and 2013, has been named a 2018 NFL Hall of Fame Inductee.
Retired middle linebacker Ray Lewis played for the Baltimore Ravens for 17 years, between 1996 and 2013, and helped the team win two Super Bowl titles in that timespan. Now, Lewis, who spent his entire career in Baltimore, will be honored at the NFL’s Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on August 4
The announcement of his and seven other players’ induction came during Super Bowl weekend. The honor will help cement the star linebacker’s legacy that, at one time, seemed in jeopardy.
Lewis’ NFL career began when he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 1996. The University of Miami standout, despite being the 26th overall pick in the draft, would help his team win its first Super bowl title after just four seasons. During that span, Lewis himself gained individual recognition and accolades such as being named to the Pro Bowl in four consecutive seasons leading up to the team’s 2001 Super bowl victory.
However, shortly after a Super bowl party in 2000 (and 12 months before the Raven’s triumph), Lewis and his companions got into an altercation with another group of partygoers, which resulted in the stabbing death of two individuals who were involved in the fight with Lewis’ entourage. Lewis and two of his friends were questioned by the police and indicted on aggravated-assault and murder charges, which many thought would end his career.
During the trial, however, Lewis’ attorneys got the charges dropped in exchange for testifying against his two companions, while his guilty plea to obstruction of justice would only result in 12 months of probation and hefty fines. While the plea agreement seemed like a tactical legal maneuver, in which Lewis’ buddies took the fall for him, both of the player’s companions would also be acquitted during the trial.
Despite being in a scary situation and nearly losing everything, in the very next season Lewis became a Pro Bowl pick and the Super bowl MVP.
His success as a player would continue on until his retirement just after he helped lead his team to its second Super bowl title in 2013. Now his induction into the Hall of Fame has cemented his legacy forever, despite the January 2000 incident and questions still often raised by the victims’ families.
However, Lewis’ record off the field is clean and his NFL record, statistics and list of accomplishments are virtually impossible to surpass and unquestionable when it comes to measuring a player’s greatness.
What do you think of Ray Lewis being inducted into the Hall of Fame? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.