Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis warns of crime wave if 2011 NFL season is locked out

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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While there is no question that professional football is an enormous part of American culture, what kind of role does it play in society as a whole? According to Baltimore Ravens star linebacker Ray Lewis, probably a much larger one than people realize.

On ESPN’s “Sportscenter” on Sunday night in an interview with Sal Paolantonio, Lewis — who was referred to as one of the three most influential players in the NFL, along with the Indianapolis Colts’ Peyton Manning and the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady — addressed the possibility of a canceled 2011 NFL season. The main threat according to Lewis? Pride.

“We really got to remove pride, seriously,” Lewis said. “[C]ome on, there’s no other reason the issue is going on. That’s why I don’t get into worrying and a lot of all that other stuff because it takes away from life itself. Man, there are people who is really struggling – for real. There are real struggles out there.”

Lewis said a lockout would impact more than just NFL players.

“What we’re going through right now, we’re affecting way more than us,” he said. “Too many people live through us. People live through us. Walk in the streets the way I walk in the streets.”

And according to Lewis, one of the major results of lockout would be an increase of evil, which he says will come in the form of more crime.

“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.”