OT: Should Ray Lewis be inducted into the Hall of Fame

Submitted by gutnedawg on January 23rd, 2013 at 11:44 AM
Does Ray Lewis deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Certainly his on field performance would warrant it but do his off field problems keep him from it? I just can't get over his past but it seems like the majority of the media has, or at least they have ignored it because his retirement coupled with the Ravens playoff run provides for a great story.



January 23rd, 2013 at 11:59 AM ^

I think it is a ridiculous question. I mean seriously are we even asking if one of the best MLB of all time is a hall of famer? There are a few who are concerned with his obstruction of justice record but they are way too few to make a dent. First ballot, second ballot whatever, he's going into the hall.


January 23rd, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

It is ridiculous because unlike baseball, NFL HOF has no qualification related to character. It is purely based on on-field performance. There is no question Ray Lewis is destined for HOF.

Frank Drebin

January 23rd, 2013 at 4:15 PM ^

In baseball, a lot of the HoF voting isn't necessarily character, but whether or not the player cheated the integrity of the game. Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa, etc. all have been accused or admitted to taking PED's, where as that wasn't the case with LT or Ray Lewis. They both have character flaws, but they didn't cheat the game like the baseball players did (unless you consider smoking crack a PED in LT's case). If Ty Cobb can get it the HoF, most players with character flaws will be able to get in. As long as they don't violate the moral high ground from the purists, most people look the other way.

Mr. Yost

January 23rd, 2013 at 4:36 PM ^

...anyone that says otherwise don't know what Lewis was charged for.

This is really starting to piss me off, I don't even care for Lewis like that - but he gets called a "murderer" when he was never charged as one. It was NEVER the crime.

He was charged with lying to the police - point blank, period.

Some people got killed, he knew details, he didn't "snitch" or give any information about it when he knew stuff about it. That's what he did or didn't do...plain and simple.

Is that wrong? YES. Is that murder? ABSOLUTELY NO.

This shouldn't even be a question and anyone that questions Lewis and the HOF is completely ignorant to what happened back in 2000 or 2001.

Newsflash, there are guys in the HOF with worst records than Lewis. Guys with DUIs, cocaine and drug violations, etc. Lewis may not be the saint the media portrays him today...but he's definitely not the thug so many of you want him to be.

Move on to someone who's actually doing shit to be questioned.


January 23rd, 2013 at 4:54 PM ^

It's a matter of the court of public opinion, where signs point to Ray Lewis having - at the very minimum - a fairly significant role in the deaths of two people.  Throw in the fact that he disposed of his suit from that night, took a plea deal based on him turning in two of his friends with him... Yeah, just a matter of connecting the dots.


January 23rd, 2013 at 11:51 AM ^

It has to be on field unless it is something that affects the game or its integrity. Otherwise, if we are just looking at a players potential criminal friends and lack of morals, there would only be n sucres into the NBA and NFL hall of fame every 10 years or so.

Dutch Ferbert

January 23rd, 2013 at 12:16 PM ^

1) Weak case doesn't equal did not do it. I'm not saying he did though. We have the toughest burden of proof, evidentiary rules and constitutional protections of any country, rightfully so, and there are plenty of guilty people who are not charged because of these rules.

2) He must have at least obstructed justice (or done something illegal) because there is no defense attorney (especially not high priced ones) who would advise a client to take a plea to obstruction if they did absolutely nothing wrong and if the prosecution had absolutely no evidence of any crime. I can't imagine a defense attorney saying, "Ray, the prosecution has absolutely nothing on you, and we all know you didn't kill anyone, but let's go ahead and take an offer to obstruction of justice."

The problem still remains that someone was killed, and Ray Lewis obstructed a murder investigation, or at least pleaded guilty to obstruction instead of some other criminal act that he committed and that the prosecution had ample evidence of.


January 23rd, 2013 at 1:01 PM ^

Lawyer here.  You need to stop playing lawyer, because clearly you aren't one.

Of course people cop to pleas even if they didn't do it.  Its the same reason companies settle lawsuits even when they think they aren't liable.

It's called -- RISK AVERSION.

It was better for Ray to cop a plea and serve minimal or no time in jail, than to risk going in front of a jury on murder charges.  It's just not worth the risk, even if he felt he was innocent.  The plea was extremely favorable -- I don't think he served time, did he? -- so take it and avoid a murder trial.  When your life is on the line, you barter that small confession in exchange for getting a good night's sleep for months and months.

Dutch Ferbert

January 23rd, 2013 at 1:26 PM ^

I'm a prosecutor, so I'm not playing lawyer.

For a lawyer, your reading comprehension sucks. Wow, I can use bold italics too to make myself sound smarter than someone.

In my scenario, the defense attorney says the prosecution has nothing on Ray at all. I personally do not know a single defense attorney worth his money who would plead his client out to anything if the prosecution had nothing. Also, despite the news of corrupt prosecutors (e.g. Duke lacrosse case), most of us live by our ethical duties not to charge people who we do not have probable cause to believe committed a crime (or to ask someone to plead guilty to a crime we do not believe they committed). I cannot imagine saying, "Your guy was at the scene of a crime, but we've got nothing on him. How about pleading to disorderly conduct or obstruction." First, that's unethical. Second, I would be laughed at by any defense attorney worth a damn.

My point is that clearly they had something on him, and he at least committed some crime. Of course, I understand what risk aversion is. Sometimes, we prosecutors use it to because we believe someone committed a felony but have victims and witnesses who are drug additcts or idiots, so rather than let that person walk, we offer a misdemeanor.

But feel free to challenge my credentials.



January 23rd, 2013 at 1:32 PM ^

don't offer a murderer a misdemeanor just to "make something stick."  You may offer 2nd degree or play some games with the sentence to get them to talk, but with murder you either have the goods or you don't.  It is quite clear that they did not have the goods on Lewis.

Of course they had "something," but what they had came no where close to beyond a reasonable doubt of murder or they never would have given him a lifeboat.

Dutch Ferbert

January 23rd, 2013 at 1:50 PM ^

But I agree with you. Nowhere did I say that you offer a murderer a misdemeanor to make it stick. I used the word felony...and there are a ton of felonies that are not as serious as a murder. I was just using the felony to misdemeanor plea bargain as an example of when a prosecutor makes a decision to avoid letting someone walk completely.

Also, I never said they had enough evidence of a murder on Ray Lewis, but they probably had enough evidence of some crime which is why he pleaded guilty to obstruction.



January 23rd, 2013 at 2:51 PM ^

As I recall, the prosecutor came out and said there was no evidence Ray was involved in the murder and dropped the murder charges based on that.

BUT, he did lie to police investigating a murder, which is obstruction of justice, and they certainly had the evidence to make that stick. Lewis then agreed to the plea -- he admitted he lied to the police and told the court what he knew about that night. I think his lawyer made a big mistake downplaying the significance of what Lewis did. If I recall properly, he said it was something akin to a speeding ticket, or something similarly minor.

That was dumb. Obstructing justice, espeically in a murder case, is a pretty serious crime. Having said that, I think Lewis should be in the Hall of Fame. The prosecutors and the judge were fine with the plea and you can't deny his greatness on the field.



January 23rd, 2013 at 1:20 PM ^

In my world, if you plead guilty to something then you don't get to argue later that you never did it. But it doesn't matter because Lewis specifically acknowledged that he lied to the police.

Before opening statements were made Judge Bonner ruled that a statement given to police by Ray Lewis after the incident, and now acknowledged to be false, could be introduced in evidence against him.


Dutch Ferbert

January 23rd, 2013 at 1:43 PM ^

With your post, it's no wonder people hate lawyers.

First, don't treat someone like shit just because you think they do not have a law degree. Hope you feel like a big man every time you do that. Assuming I wasn't a lawyer, does telling me not to play lawyer really make you feel smarter or better about yourself? If so, congrats, I guess. There was a classy way to post what you did without being an ass about it.

Second, don't assume something about someone based on what they posted on a sports blog.



January 23rd, 2013 at 12:21 PM ^

Devil's advocate:  If it was so weak then why would Lewis accept a plea?  He had plenty of money to pay the lawyers so its not a worry about legal fees.  So, arguably, he must have had some worry that he could be found guilty.  So, from there, the reasoning goes that he also must have been a little worried because he knew he did some wrong.  Or that's the argument, anyway.

[Edit:  Dutch is both a faster typist and smarter than me.]


January 23rd, 2013 at 12:27 PM ^

Part of it is the publicity of going to trial.  It would have been a drawn out process, with every little detail being covered from the court room steps.  Not the kind of attention an NFL star wants.  Sure he has the money to pay his lawyers, and from my (limited) understanding, he would have been acquitted, but why draw out the process of you can plead to a lesser deal?

Blue in Yarmouth

January 23rd, 2013 at 12:49 PM ^

I have to disagree with you hypothesis. If he did nothing wrong and had nothing to hide he would have wanted to publicly clear his name of any wrong doing. Think about what your saying here. Yeah, they have nothing on me but if I plead not guilty I will have to endure a trial where the prosecution provides absolutely no evidence and I come out looking like the innocent man I am....Or : Yeah, they have absolutely nothing on me, but I am going to plead guilty so I can get this over with, damn the negative publicity that comes with it and the fact I will always be considered a criminal.

If this had anything to do with publicity and he was innocent, he would have never pleaded guilty of anything just to get the process over with. That just makes no sense at all.


January 23rd, 2013 at 5:44 PM ^

You make a fair point.  I would argue, however, that even if he plead not guilty and went to court and was acquitted, the his reputation would be forever tainted.  The average person knows very little about the legal system.  Combine that with a short memory, and most people would have thought that he still did commit murder, regardless of whether or not he was acquitted. 


January 23rd, 2013 at 1:13 PM ^

to worry a little when you are arrested for murder, regardless of whether you did it or not, that pesky electric chair and all. 

You plea because 1) you probably obstructed justice, and 2) you want murder charges to go away. The better question is, why would a plea be offered?  From a murder investigation (a life felony) to obstruction of justice and probation?  If the prosecution has the good for murder, they prosecute, they may plead someone down to murder 2 in exchange for testimony but not some time served bullshit.  A plea to nothing-having-to-do-with-murder means nothing to do with the murder, possibly disposal of evidence after the fact.

MI Expat NY

January 23rd, 2013 at 2:54 PM ^

Because they had him dead to rights on the obstruction charge.  He lost nothing by pleading to that charge.  The fact that his testimony did far more to hurt the prosecution than help shows that portraying the agreement as a "plea deal in exchange for testimony" was more of an ass-covering statement than one based in reality.  

Ray Lewis should never have been charged with murder, and it certainly shouldn't have ever gone to trial.