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.