The Definition of a Man

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was charged with double murder in Atlanta, Georgia in January of 2000. Those charges were later dropped after a plea bargain.

Since then, Lewis has gone on to dominate the NFL with his play on the field. His passion, heart, and determination has been something I’ve admired over the past few years. I fully respect Ray Lewis as a football player.

Then comes the war of words between Lewis and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens. A few days after the Eagles victory over the Ravens on October 31st, Owens was still talking. Getting personal Owens said, “You have a guy like Ray Lewis, who I thought he was pretty much my friend. This is a guy, double murder case, and he could have been in jail, but it seems like the league embraces a guy like that. But I’m going out scoring touchdowns and having fun, but I’m the bad guy.”

Now, most people in America would of at least tore Owens apart verbally, if not accually doing it literally. Ray Lewis, however, had this to say:

If I ever as a man offended Terrell Owens, I would definitely have to say I’m sorry. Because my heart wouldn’t allow me to offend someone… who as a man, if you haven’t found yourself in a dark place in life… if you find yourself there, call me. What I went through four years ago was real. We’re talking about people’s families that he’s bringin into this situation. You know, when you speak about things so loosely and unselfishly… so, do I take it personal? No. But, what hurts the most is, I’m tellin this person “I have nothing against you brotha. Never will, never have. I enjoy your game. And don’t look for your praise through man, don’t look for nobody to praise you. Man only builds you up to tear you down.” So, when he scores all these touchdowns and he’s arguably the MVP right now in mid-season, take pride out of it for a minute. Forget “I”. Don’t walk in the room with an “I” additude everyday. Walk in the room with how I’m going to get my team better.This room was struggling with how to get my team over the edge. And, that’s what I think he’s missing. He’s missing that “forget me”.

T.O. man, I’m going to always love this guy, because, he brings a different energy to the game of football. He didn’t know what he was saying. You know, don’t worry about effecting me. My foundation is simple. My foundation is God. My foundation is if you want to go back and pull up my past, be careful. Because, as deep as I’ve been dug up is as high as I’m about to go. You know, and that’s what I wanna tell another young man. Be you and choose what you know is right and that’s love. And if T.O. walked into my house right now I’d tell my momma to cook him a dinner. He’s my brother. He says, “I thought he was my friend”, I’m more than a friend, I’m a brother. And when you don’t feel appriciated, and when you do feel attacked, I’ve been there. My phone number’s simple. It’s easy to find me. So, as a man when you don’t know how to get through that, you can always call me.

After the Eagles following game against the Steelers, Owens announce that he and Lewis had cleared the air. As for Lewis’ words, words to live by.

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~ by Steve L. on November 8, 2004.

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