Question of the Day: Is Ray Lewis a Hero Or a Villain?


Jan 30, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis addresses the press during a press conference in preparation for Super Bowl XLVII between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl Media Circus Week is being dominated by Ray Lewis talk. That was going to be the case anyway, what with him supposedly retiring after the season. You know how the media love a good “riding off into the sunset” story. But things got even more Lewis-centric after the news broke about his alleged PED use. Specifically, Lewis is accused of using deer antler spray to recover from a triceps injury. That particular substance contains an element banned by the NFL.

The media seized on the deer antler spray story like a hungry dog clamping its jaws on a big juicy ham bone. The narrative switched from “Ray’s Last Hurrah” to “Ray the PED User.” Oh and that whole murder thing is still hanging over his head. Just for a little extra spice.

For the record, Ray denies everything. He still denies the murder. And he denies using deer antler spray. His PED denial took on a certain self-righteous quality Wednesday with this quote:

"It’s a joke if you know me. I tell [teammates] all the time: “Don’t let people from the outside ever try to disturb what’s inside.” That’s the trick of the devil. The trick of the devil is to kill, steal and destroy. That’s what he comes to do. He comes to distract you from everything you’re trying to do."

Okay, so the devil put out the deer antler story to distract Ray from his Super Bowl quest? Did Ray just accuse the media of being in league with the devil? Or are they just helpless instruments of the devil?

Some out there might think, if anyone is in league with the devil, it’s Ray Lewis. That would explain how he skated after the murder accusations. That would explain how, ten-plus years after the murder accusations, he is now some kind of media darling. We just live in a forgiving society, that’s all! And he dances. Who doesn’t love a guy that dances?

But is our society possibly a little too forgiving? And are the media a little too willing to let Dancing Ray skate? Is this guy someone we should celebrate, or someone we should hold our nose and put up with? Is Ray Lewis a hero or a villain? Or is he actually neither? Is he just a guy who plays football and, because he’s a really good player, gets to be a prominent media figure despite all his many sins?

Only thing I know for sure? His dancing is annoying. Really. Really. Annoying.

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