In his new book, former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis recalls the details of the 2000 incident in Atlanta that led to his murder trial.
Lewis appeared on ESPN on Wednesday and discussed that incident while promoting the book, I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game and Glory.
Two men were stabbed to death in an altercation involving Lewis and his entourage following a Super Bowl party. Charges against Lewis were later dismissed in exchange for his testimony against two of his companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, and his pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges for obstruction of justice.
“When chaos happens, it happens way too fast,” Lewis said. “...I've never been an altercation guy...I'm always the one who pulls everyone back.
“When I speak about it now,” he added, “what people don’t understand is, I live with Atlanta every day of my life.”
Lewis said he saw his friend get hit with a bottle before a brawl erupted.
“You have to ask yourself, nobody would ever approach me anyway, to like, fight me,” he said. “And so it was always embarrassing when I would hear the district attorneys, when I would hear all of these people, say ‘Ray Lewis, without a shadow of a doubt, stabbed these two people.’
“First of all, they‘re like four, five inches shorter than me. Why would I fight these people anyway, right?” Lewis said. “So I think when you get into the story, the thing you start to see is, I can now understand how young African-American men are brutally abused by certain forces, by certain people. I sat there and I witnessed something that had nothing to do with me, but it had everything to do with my skin color and my name.”
You can watch the video of Lewis’s ESPN appearance below.
- Jeremy Woo