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Ray Lewis on NFL’s safety measures: “Leave the game alone”

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Six months ago, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis lent his voice to the NFL’s campaign for player safety. But he now says he is not a fan of the NFL’s measures to make the game safer.

Lewis told Bob Glauber of Newsday that the league is meddling too much with the way players play the game of football, and that it’s time for the league office to just allow football players to do their jobs.

I think the safest thing to do is leave the game alone,” Lewis said. “The game will take care of itself. It always has. Should we be aware of these things? Absolutely. But when you adjust so many [rules], sometimes it makes it worse.”

But adjusting the rules to make the game safer was exactly the message of the commercial the NFL aired during the Super Bowl about how the league is committed to making changes to protect players’ health. That commercial was narrated by none other than Ray Lewis.

In the commercial, Lewis declares that the advancement of American football came because the game’s forefathers “added new rules and better equipment.”

“We certainly have come a long way,” Lewis says in the commercial. “The thing is, we’re just getting started. Here’s to making the next century safer and more exciting than ever. Forever forward. Forever football.”

It’s hard to square Lewis’s comments in that video with his belief that adjusting the rules can make the game worse. Apparently Lewis was spreading a message he doesn’t really believe to the largest television audience in American history.

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27 Responses to “Ray Lewis on NFL’s safety measures: “Leave the game alone””
  1. nfloracle says: Aug 26, 2012 1:49 PM

    Ray’ll be singing a different tune in ten or fifteen years when he files his own concussion lawsuit. Make book on it.

  2. ravenator says: Aug 26, 2012 1:54 PM

    What a beast. You could only wish he was on your team

  3. kevo126 says: Aug 26, 2012 1:57 PM

    you do realize that ray lewis was paid for that commercial? just because he narrated what they wrote doesnt mean that is exactly what he believes.

  4. salvi18 says: Aug 26, 2012 1:57 PM

    if it was up to him he would be running around with a knife stabbing the officials

  5. freshnsoclean says: Aug 26, 2012 1:59 PM

    When Ray talks, I listen… why? because I respect him more than any player in the NFL. And in this case, he’s right.

  6. tiggerblood says: Aug 26, 2012 2:02 PM

    Amen. The reason offenses and the passing game has become more prolific is because of these rule changes a receiver going over the middle has no fear he’s gonna get lit up! 10 years ago this would have never happened. The league shouldn’t change rules for safety they should change its care for the players a NFL/NFLPA should set up a hospital for football players to help them these men are adults and they know what they’re in for when they sign the contract. The hospital should extend to all players youths through pros for free. We’re talking billions of dollars that is moved by the sport more than enough to set up some sort of care for these modern day gladiators.

  7. zackattack410 says: Aug 26, 2012 2:03 PM

    MDS,
    You are either naive or stupid (or both). How is this news? 90% of the time, athletes do it for the money. They don’t care if their consistent. They all do it. I doubt Polamalu actually uses head and shoulders.

  8. ravensdominate says: Aug 26, 2012 2:25 PM

    Wow what a surprise. Someone has to comment about Ray Lewis stabbing someone. Why don’t you do your home work, ignorant people. The guy didn’t stab anyone. Find a new subject to blast the Ravens with.

  9. roadtrip3500 says: Aug 26, 2012 2:41 PM

    Ray, I respect your play to no end. You’re a Hall of Fame middle linebacker like Butkus, Carson, and Singletary.

    But go to fellow linebacker Junior Seau’s grave, repeat your statement…, and see if you believe it.

  10. tedmurph says: Aug 26, 2012 2:42 PM

    After what he was involved in in Atlanta, I can see why a few concussions wouldn’t seem like much.

  11. jikkle49 says: Aug 26, 2012 2:54 PM

    You’re preaching to the choir Ray and you need to tell that to all the former players suing the NFL because if it wasn’t for the lawsuits the NFL wouldn’t be bothering to go overboard with player safety.

  12. pgh15212 says: Aug 26, 2012 2:54 PM

    Apparently Lewis was spreading a message he doesn’t really believe to the largest television audience in American history.

    ________________________

    Or he, you know, changed his mind. People are allowed to gain new information and change their original thoughts. Yikes!

    What is next, a post about how Chris Carter left Calvin Johnson off his top 5 wr’s a year ago?

  13. sarah3gl says: Aug 26, 2012 2:54 PM

    I am so exhausted from having to reregister again for at least the fifth time in my history of replying, because wordpress once again does not recognize me, that I am simplifying my message to:

    I agree with Ray. The rules are changing faster than the culture change. Doesn’t mean the players and coaches don’t want to be safe.

  14. chi01town says: Aug 26, 2012 4:01 PM

    Tell Goodell to leave the NFL alone he is destroying the game. ” safety” this is the NFL an every player knows its ruff out there. Now here comes Goodell… Who aint never played football on NO level an hes going to change the game. Kick offs.. The Pro bowl, playing Defense is a penalty. plus hes Judge… Jury… an Exacutioner

  15. mancave001 says: Aug 26, 2012 4:12 PM

    He should keep his mouth shut. He’ll need the concussion excuse if he murders someone else.

  16. yukon672010 says: Aug 26, 2012 4:17 PM

    Sal18…

    I thought 7eleven stopped letting its employees look at the Internet while they were working ….

  17. hummer53 says: Aug 26, 2012 4:20 PM

    My thoughts exactly. Grown men at this point can decide if they want to play further.

  18. njsteelersfan says: Aug 26, 2012 4:44 PM

    ravensdominate says:Aug 26, 2012 2:25 PM

    Wow what a surprise. Someone has to comment about Ray Lewis stabbing someone. Why don’t you do your home work, ignorant people. The guy didn’t stab anyone. Find a new subject to blast the Ravens with.
    ———————————————-
    First of all you do your homework 1) He got rid of his suit that he was wearing at the time Yes go to the vid replay 2) The 2 guys who took a fall years ago espn even brought this up they recived a good bank acct 30 Why lie to the police in the first place and so on and so on But its ok for Raven fans to talk about Ben

  19. voiceofreasonsays says: Aug 26, 2012 5:00 PM

    Why would I wish he was on my team when we have the best MLB of this generation in London Fletcher? Give me a class act and respected individual like Fletch all day over Lewis/Urlacher etc…

  20. steelersownyou says: Aug 26, 2012 5:00 PM

    No surprise he wants the game left alone he’s been cheap shotting players for years. And lets not forget the shank murder he did in atlanta! Cheap shot organization that illegally cut blocks and fakes extra points while their up by 3 td’s! Stay classy Ratbirds!

  21. kuta82 says: Aug 26, 2012 5:02 PM

    Hey if they are gonna pay u top dollar to send a message that u personally don’t agree with; what the heck!.Id do it. Like the Donald says “Nothing personal, its just business”..

  22. mattamp says: Aug 26, 2012 5:04 PM

    Right. It wasn’t a knife. It was a gun. But he wouldn’t shoot anyone. He’d watch and then rat you out.

  23. thetooloftools says: Aug 26, 2012 6:03 PM

    Helmet to helmet contact must stop. The days of going in head first must end.

  24. nathanbetz91 says: Aug 26, 2012 6:41 PM

    of course ray lewis is going to say this. this is the man who has made a career laying people out and causing pain because thats his job and hes great at it. if you endorsed changing the rules then he would be saying that hes gonna completely change his play style one hes been using for over a decade, and doing so could make people like him less becuase lets be honest one thing we watch football for i those big hits delievered by none other than ray lewis himself.

  25. cheers4ablumpkin says: Aug 26, 2012 7:44 PM

    Amen amen ray. When he speaks the nfl
    Should listen. He’s help the lockout end
    Last year. He’s the man

  26. footballer4ever says: Aug 26, 2012 11:35 PM

    @ kevo126 said “you do realize that ray lewis was paid for that commercial? just because he narrated what they wrote doesnt mean that is exactly what he believes.”

    That sounds like a sellout to me. Aside from that, listen to the retired and injured players whim the league has neglected them like trashbags. Ray Lewis might be talking crap, but i wonder how he would feel if any other player gets him retired or worse, paralyzed.

  27. guitarkevin says: Aug 27, 2012 12:36 PM

    Oh look, the article has Ray Lewis’ name in it. I better hurry up and get my “stabbing” comment in before anyone else.

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