Ray Lewis, a legendary middle linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens who ended his career with Super Bowl victory in 2013, might be wishing he kept his answer Sunday about former teammate Ray Rice a good bit shorter.
Lewis, now an ESPN analyst, was asked about Rice's indefinite suspension from the NFL after a surveillance video came to light of him punching his then-fiance Janay Palmer in the face in a hotel elevator.
"There's some things you can cover up," Lewis said, "and then there's some things you can't."
Washington Post sportswriter Cindy Boran noted what those familiar with Lewis' well-documented past were likely thinking: "He went on for about three minutes," she wrote, "but his producers had to be cringing."
Lewis was indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges in January 2000 after a fight at a Super Bowl party resulted in two stabbing deaths, The Score noted. But a plea agreement got charges against Lewis dropped in exchange for his testimony against two others; Lewis pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor obstruction of justice charge, The Score added. Lewis has always maintained his innocence.
More of Lewis' response:
Sometimes we forget why we're here. We're here for one reason and one reason only. We're here for domestic violence. We're here because we saw a friend of mine brutally hit his wife in the face in an elevator. There's some things you can cover up and then there's some things you can't.
Right now is a sad day for me because the reputation that I left in this organization — this isn't it. This isn't it. What was built that many...years took hard work to get that. Took a hell of a reputation to put on the line. Men's families. Men's lives. Or how to actually get acclimated as a pro. [...]
Ray Rice put a lot of people in jeopardy with his actions. A lot of people in jeopardy. Not just himself. He needs to understand that because none of this happens if what happened that night in that elevator don't happen. If I ask for anything in this whole thing, I ask, "Let there be light."
Here's a clip of Lewis answer. The relevant portion begins at the 1:34 mark: