For the past 19 years, opposing fan bases has made it abundantly clear that Ray Lewis was involved with a murder all those years ago in the city of Atlanta.
Back in 2000, he and a pair of friends were charged for the stabbing deaths of two men outside a nightclub hours after the last Super Bowl played here. One victims blood was found in Lewis’ limo. The most serious charges against Lewis were dropped, and he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice as well as testify against the other defendants, who were acquitted. Still, people haven’t forgotten.
In a little over a week, the former Baltimore Ravens linebacker will be making his return to a Super Bowl being held in ATL, hoping to absolve his name by promoting his Ray of Hope Foundation.
This Super Bowl, Lewis is back in Atlanta to promote hope and healing, using his celebrity spotlight to bring exposure to his Ray of Hope Foundation, which gets celebrities and athletes to send inspirational personal video messages for those in need.
The goal of the big-ticket event, dubbed Gold Jacket Party for a Purpose, is to raise money for the foundation. The event is expected to attract dozens of sports and entertainment celebrities.
“Purpose is forever,” Lewis told The Associated Press. “The game comes and goes but purpose is forever.”
The hall of famer has moved on from that bad moment in his life and truly believes others have as well.
“My sisters live in Atlanta,” Lewis said. “I’ve been in Atlanta for years, all over Atlanta.”
“That’s the glory of it, man,” he said. “That’s the excitement of where I’m starting to move in the second half of my life, figuring out my greatest ability is access because of my reputation, because of my name, because of my brand. I want to use it to bring people together, so I use it.”
Among the big names expected to attend his event are Jim Brown, Deion Sanders, Ed Reed and Eddie George and many current players, including Grady Jackson and Austin Hooper of the Atlanta Falcons.
Sanders said Lewis “is a wonderful, inspirational, caring, thoughtful individual which I Iove like a brother.”
“I’m not going to go into the incident that happened, but Ray, but that’s not Ray,” Sanders told AP on Thursday. “That wasn’t Ray, and I know that for a fact, so I’m thankful. He worked his way out of it.”