Ray Lewis has written a book. And it is exactly the kind of book you would expect from the former Baltimore Ravens defensive leader.
I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game, And Glory, co-written with Daniel Paisner, addresses everything from Lewis’ prolific NFL career to his controversies off it. Does that include the night in Atlanta? Yes, it does.
Lewis, once again, vehemently denies any role in the stabbing deaths of two men outside an Atlanta nightclub in 2000. He makes a point to note that his clothing that night made it clear he had no intention of fighting. Lewis wrote:
All that jewelry, plus my mink coat, I must have been wearing about a quarter-million dollars, but those were heady times, man…Remember, I was dressed out, had my jewelry on, my fine mink coat. I wasn’t about to start mixing it up looking like that. That’s the general rule of thumb when you’re doing the town and looking good. The nicer you’re dressed, the less inclined you are to get in a fight — that is, if you’re even inclined in that way to begin with.
The Pro Bowler was in Atlanta at the time as part of a Super Bowl-related event and rode down with his driver rather than fly because of bad weather conditions. He attended a handful of parties at several different nightclubs, including a Super Bowl after party at Cobalt.
After he left the party at the Cobalt, Lewis writes, he and his “loos entourage” went to their limousine when they were approached by men who began “making noise, making trouble.” Lewis writes that he got everyone into the car, but before they were able to leave his friend Reginald Oakley was hit in the head with a bottle of champagne.
Oakley, as well as Joseph Sweet, were both charged in the homicides but was eventually found not guilty.
“But I didn’t engage with these dudes. No, sir. I tried to disengage , pushing the girls back in the car, and we all piled inside,” Lewis wrote.
The former Ravens standout added that shots were fired at the vehicle and even blew out one tire. Lewis said the group had the car towed and returned to the hotel where he saw on TV that two men had been stabbed and that police were looking for the vehicle he was riding in. He said he never thought to call the police after the shots were fired because no one in his party had been hurt.
Of course, the authorities recounted the night’s events quite differently. Police said that Lewis had gone to his girlfriend’s aunt’s house and was scheduled to go to Hawaii with his mother on the day he was arrested.
Lewis spent several weeks in jail and said he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice because he had to and added that he settled with the victims’ families in a civil suit because he “answered the way God laid it on my heart.” Lewis added:
I could not bring those two young men back. I had no hand in their deaths, I could not ease the suffering of those families. But I had so many blessings in my life, I told myself I could use some of those blessings for those good people. They were hurting. I was hurting. It was not an admission of guilt — it was an expression of love, of sympathy. I gave because I had it to give. I knew that money would never bring back what the families wanted most. But they asked for it so I gave.
For more information on the Lewis-penned memoir, click here.