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Baltimore Ravens’ star Ray Lewis is known for his intensity on the field. But in his latest comments on the NFL lockout, the star claimed things would get ugly off the field if players couldn’t get back to the game.

In an interview with ESPN, the middle linebacker says that the streets won’t be safe if the NFL lockout continues pass the start of the regular season. Speaking with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, Ray expressed his concern that violence would spike without football:

“Do this research if we don’t have a season — watch how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game.”

When asked by Paolantonio why he believed that crime would increase if team owners and players’ union did not come to an agreement, Ray replied simply:

“There’s nothing else to do.”

While I can think of several things to do with an extended vacation (jet ski, read a new book, have a spa day, take a trip to the outlets), Ray told ESPN that for NFL players the idle time provided more of an opportunity for wrongdoing.

Since the lockout began, 12 NFL players have gotten themselves arrested. According to Sports Illustrated, this number is up from eight arrests during the same period last year. Since Ray’s comments aired, several owners and coaches have disagreed with his assessment saying that the lockout will not lead to a national crime spree.

Ray is not only concerned for players but people who depend on them as well, saying:

“There’s too many people that live through us, people live through us…Yeah, walk in the streets, the way I walk the streets, and I’m not talking about the people you see all the time.”

You can watch the full interview here:

What do you think of Ray’s claims:  is he talking reckless or speaking the truth?  Share your thoughts Clutchettes and gents!

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  • ruggie

    Come on folks, Ray Lewis is just an overzealous athlete who thinks the world revolves around his sport. Everyday people who live through football players will flip out…Hot dog vendors will go on crime sprees…Bored players will turn into thugs… not so much.

  • Not Surprised

    This is the problem with us as a people. Instead of investigating and doing a thorough analysis of what this man was talking about, you watch bits and pieces of a much longer interview and take everything for face value until someone leads you sheep in another direction.

    What you focused on was the fact that Lewis stated that crime would rise if the NFL season wasnt reinstated. While the verbiage used might have been a tad off color, he isnt the only person that feels those sentiments.
    A few months ago Roger Goodell (Commissioner of the NFL) attempted to impose sanctions on players who broke the NFL’s code of conduct even while not officially employed by the NFL. Fortunately, the courts deemed this unlawful and the issue was dropped. However, it is very telling that the same Ray Lewis and Goodell are well aware of the potential “crime” that could occur, only Goodell sought to punish those players who would commit such unlawful acts.

    Now from the looks of things, the intelligent conversation flew right out of the window after the 7th or 8th post. As usual we (black people) go right into our usual rhetoric of oppression, the white man and of course my favorite, slavery.
    Meanwhile this has nothing to do with what is being discussed and were right back to square damn one. But while you guys argue about the same unimportant nonsense, I did some research and realized that clutch magazine only saw the part of the interview the media wants you to see. The part of the interview you did not see was when Ray Lewis goes IN DEPTH as to what hes been doing with his time off. Did you guys see that part? No? Of course you didnt.

    Well take a look at this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbdkS_iXgfw

    If you didnt get all of that here are a few points you missed

    1. While players and owners bicker back and forth about when the lockout will end, Lewis is working with his charity touching the lives of the youth and being an active figure in the community.

    2. While remaining neutral on the topic, Lewis understands that this lockout is a juvenile tug of war between billionaires and millionaires meanwhile those who make 35 grand a year working for NFL arent sure when or where their next check is coming from
    Thats what you obviously didnt see and judged based on a narrow minded opinion (Im really not surprised)

    3. Lewis understands their are more important things than football ” A 16 year old boy tells me ‘If I dont get a heart, ill die’ and you want me to worry about a mini camp?”

    I dont believe the only reason that criminals arent committing crimes is because they are watching the broncos every sunday, and I dont believe that was what Ray Lewis was inferring. I believe he was speaking about PLAYERS who have idle time on their hands and instead of being proactive and enriching the lives of others, much like Ray Lewis is doing they do a bunch of dumb foolishness and end up getting in trouble.

    What I have a problem with is that after looking at this analysis of Lewis’ interview, I look back at this thread and im truly disheartened at the fact that the comments of a football player transformed into a discussion on black men and women when those topics weren’t even up for discussion.

    Instead of staying on topic, you let these racist trolls poison the thread and throw the focus off balance and you consistently fall for the boobie trap every time. Furthermore im truly embarrassed for those who believe this interview was about football. It was about grown men stepping up to handle business. It was about athletes using their celebrity and money to better their community. It was about the man who was labeled a neanderthal and a murder, seeing through the politics and calling out the truth. Sounds like hes the smartest guy in the room.

    • BluTopaz

      Not Surprised—

      It’s so much more fun to blame the actions of millions on the soundbytes of one person and claim it’s gospel—stop spoiling it!

  • answer

    Poor journalism at its best. How much more can someone’s words be taken out of context. I expect this from the Onion at best. This is the very reason why reputable journalists much rather have a story of their own as opposed to writing a story about someone else’s interview. Playing telephone will always distort the facts.

    Ray never once spoke in the context that the players needed to outlet to not commit crimes. He was talking of extremely enthused fans that use football as a positive distraction and other citizens who’s jobs and source of income are closely related to the nfl (i.e. stadium workers and merchants).

    And I’m dissapointed in our generation’s reading comprehension skills and inability to ascertain when an individual is talking of a much greater societal issue and not their personal issue only at the microscosmic level.

    • forwhy

      @answer. when authored by Leslie Pitterson, poor journalism/ sensationalism is what to be expected