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Ray Lewis’s Post-Game Speech

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There are plenty of Ray Lewis haters out there. I don’t know enough to judge him as a man. Maybe those who’ve studied his case and all the evidence can and have come to a more informed opinion. They are obviously so entitled. I know several folks, including some in my family, who have forever labeled him a “thug” and called it a day. They choose to view his charity work and foundation as a scam for a criminal that got away with murder. I understand that perspective.

But I’m not here to discuss Ray Lewis off-the-field and away from the stadium. I’m here to think about Ray Lewis the Baltimore Ravens linebacker and, however convenient, separate the teammate from the broader citizen. And Ray Lewis the ballplayer is unquestionably one of the game’s all-time greats in terms of his talent and production. He’s also made his mark as a leader of the Ravens during his 16 years in Baltimore. His post-game speech is following the Ravens emotional loss to the Pats in the AFC Championship game another example of why.

His words , though neither poetic nor particularly polished, are prescient. Listen to the messages he manages to deliver in only a brief 1-minute speech. In them, he displays a thoughtful understanding of what the loss truly means (little) and exhibits several qualities often associated with leaders in any field. During those sixty seconds he manages to…

– Put the loss in appropriate context

– Support two teammates whose gaffes on respective plays led so many to pin the loss solely on their shoulders

– Pick up his already-sensitive quarterback who was no doubt similarly feeling sorry for himself

– Motivate a group of me to learn from the loss as a means to get to the final step

Like I said…I don’t know enough to judge Ray Lewis outside of his football persona. But it’s moments like these when you understand why, besides the respect a Super Bowl MVP Award, two defensive player of the year accolades and 13 Pro Bowls buy you, so many players talk about the leadership of Ray Lewis and what he means to the Baltimore Ravens.

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