Dancing With the Stars season 27 premieres Monday, September 16, and former NFL star Ray Lewis is joining the celebrity cast.
Throughout the season, DWTS shares insight into its stars’ personal lives. Since Lewis retired from football to spend more time with his kids, it is likely that they will be featured as an important part of his journey on Dancing With the Stars.
Ahead of the season 28 premiere, here’s what you need to know about Ray Lewis’s kids:
1. He Has 4 Sons & 2 Daughters
Ray Lewis is a father of six children; he has 3 daughters, Diaymon and Kaitlin, and 4 sons, Ray Lewis III, Rayshad, Ralin, and Rashaan. Although he mainly uses his Instagram account to promote his work, he posted a throwback photo of 5 of his 6 children on Instagram for Father’s Day 2019. In the caption, he wrote “God is the greatest Father ever, thank you for showing me the way. Thank you for my blessings- they are the Key to my Heart.”
He shares Ray Lewis III, Rayshad, and Rahsaan with his ex Tatyana McCall, and Kaitlin, Ralin, and Diaymon are from relationships with 3 other women.
2. His Sons Followed in His Footsteps by Playing College Football
Ray’s sons inherited his athletic ability, and have each pursued their own college football careers. Although Ray Ray originally played football for the University of Miami, he later transferred to play for Virginia Union University.
According to Richmond Free Press, Rayshad played as a defensive back and wide receiver for the University of Maryland, and Rashaan played as a defensive back for the University of Central Florida.
3. Ray’s Kids Faced Backlash for His Dropped Murder Charges
According to NPR, Ray Lewis was charged with double murder in 2000 for the death of two men at a Super Bowl party. The charges were ultimately dropped, but the accusation followed Lewis for years after.
It is not surprising that Lewis’s kids were impact by the charge. His ex Tatyana McCall told Local 6 that her oldest son was even confronted on Twitter about the past charge. She said “We’re all celebrating and Ray-Ray casually walks into the kitchen and shows me a tweet on his cell phone. Someone tweeted to him, ‘How does it feel to have a father who’s a murderer?’ So Ray Ray said, ‘So what should I say?’, and I said, ‘What do you think you should say? Is your father a murderer?'”
4. Ray Asked Diaymon to Present Him at His Hall of Fame Induction
Ahead of Ray Lewis’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018, his daughter Diaymon was asked to present him and share her favorite memories of him. In an article for PressboxOnline.com, she wrote “It meant a lot when he asked me to present him to the Hall of Fame. I didn’t want to tell him, but I was a little nervous when he asked me, but I already knew I was going to do it. I was going to do it because I felt like there is so much that he’s done, and there’s just no way I could say no. I’m definitely really excited because I have so much to share with everybody. I’m more than grateful for the opportunity to talk about my dad.”
She also reflected on what it was like growing up in a city where her father was an NFL star: “Growing up in Baltimore has given me an interesting perspective on what he’s done for people here. People say to me, “Do you know your dad is my idol?” And I sit there and listen because when we were kids, we were hard-headed and we didn’t want to listen to the same stories over and over. We’re like, “Here he goes with this inspirational stuff.” But at the end of the day, not only does that make a difference in our lives; he makes a difference in other people’s lives. It really took me a while to realize this man is everything. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
5. Lewis Is Determined to Be the Father He Didn’t Have for His Children
In a piece Ray wrote for ESPN in 2014, he begins by saying “I didn’t have a father. I do now, but I didn’t then. The man I now know as my father, Elbert Ray Jackson, is a father in DNA only. He claims the title, but he didn’t earn it. He looks like me, moves like me, but he never took the time to know me, never played the part. He left the day I was born… Every twenty years, there’s been another link broken, another hard road laid, going back four generations. My son Ray Lewis III is nineteen years old; I am thirty-nine; my father is fifty-nine; his father, my grandfather, is seventy-nine; and my great-grandfather is ninety-nine. And the only one who’s grown up with a father is my son.”
During his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech, he said “What I didn’t have – the touches and the kisses and the hugs that I give you – I never had that. I never had my father physically touch me and tell me he loved me. That’s why I hug you guys so much. That’s why I’m still kissing you on the mouth.” Although USA Today reported that his kids were embarrassed by that part of the speech, it was a sweet moment for the football star to show how much he cares about his kids.