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Ray Lewis not fined for Art Modell eye black tribute

Ray Lewis AP

On Monday night, Ray Lewis took a page out of the Tebow playbook, writing a message on his eye black strips.

Lewis applied to the material the initials of late Ravens owner Art Modell.  ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Lewis wasn’t fined.

It’s a clear violation of the league’s strict uniform policy.  Last year, for example, Giants safety Antrel Rolle was fined for displaying the University of Miami logo on his eye strips.

While we’re not saying the league was wrong to make an exception, the question is whether the league may have stepped on a banana peel perched at the top of a slippery slope.  What if Tebow now decides he’s going to start putting citations to Biblical verses on his eye strips, like he did at Florida?

Apart from the P.R. nightmare that quickly would develop if the league fines Tebow for promoting his religious beliefs, the league would have to reconcile an irreconcilable inconsistency between the decision not to fine Lewis and any decision to fine Tebow.

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27 Responses to “Ray Lewis not fined for Art Modell eye black tribute”
  1. footballer4ever says: Sep 16, 2012 11:12 AM

    NFL= No Fair League

  2. dirtmcgirt24 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:13 AM

    Modell, you know, actually owned an NFL team. To my knowledge, no biblical figures have. So there’s that…

  3. bag217 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:17 AM

    Maybe the league is afraid Ray will murder them if they fine him.

  4. thraiderskin says: Sep 16, 2012 11:20 AM

    Slippery slope? I wouldn’t want to be the guy who tells Ray “no.”

  5. vuudu says: Sep 16, 2012 11:21 AM

    Mental minefield this. I don’t even want to imagine the hell that will break lose if Tebow and the league got into such a situation. Foxnews will get involved, Pat Robinson….

  6. thelastpieceofcheese says: Sep 16, 2012 11:23 AM

    The NFL has some of the most asinine rules.

  7. vasportsbrew says: Sep 16, 2012 11:23 AM

    Ray Lewis has EARNED the respect and the right to do something like this and not be fined. He was honoring a legendary NFL figure, not something outside the league. Smart move by NFL not to fine Ray, would have pissed off many players around the league.

  8. deepthreat says: Sep 16, 2012 11:23 AM

    What if someone witnesses a couple knife murders and the white suit he was wearing that night just happens to disappear ??? That would really be a PR nightmare.

  9. muklodge says: Sep 16, 2012 11:25 AM

    Pretty interesting Ray Lewis does not get fined for his tribute to one person, but Lance Briggs is fined for paying tribute to those who passed on 9/11last year…

  10. mydadyourmom says: Sep 16, 2012 11:25 AM

    Ray Lewis once murdered a man.

  11. jimnaizeeum says: Sep 16, 2012 11:27 AM

    Ray Lewis not fined for Art Modell eye black tribute.
    —————————————————
    Didn’t seem to get in much trouble for not coming clean about a stabbing either.

  12. yajas says: Sep 16, 2012 11:42 AM

    Anyone who breaks the rules should be fined. I’m sick of people thinking that the rules don’t apply to them because their cause is so noble or popular.

    So if 75% of the fans support your cause, you should be allowed to do it but if it’s more like 45% you shouldn’t? Where do you draw the line and how do you enforce that crap?

    With all the subjectivity in many NFL game rules, this is one that should be fairly easy to define and enforce consistently.

  13. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Sep 16, 2012 11:47 AM

    As a Steeler fan from western PA, there’s no love lost for the Ravens or the Browns.

    But here, I actually have to credit Goodell and the League for NOT coming down on Ray Lewis.

    Cleveland has the perpetual embittered jilted lover syndrome — and they lose sight of so much Modell did for the League and for the city of Cleveland. How many ever contemplate Modell’s philanthropic efforts over the years? It doesn’t seem like many people in Cleveland do.

    Lewis made an impassioned and respectful tribute to a man who certainly deserved it. The League, in my opinion, wisely opted to not get pissy about it. Credit to Goodell, the League, Ray Lewis and Art Modell. Well done on all fronts.

  14. dcbrave says: Sep 16, 2012 11:47 AM

    NFL really needs to learn how to pick their battles. Rules about socks and eye black? Come on! How are these rules improving the game?

  15. stairwayto7 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:48 AM

    Ray Lewis needs suspened 3 games!

  16. stull60060 says: Sep 16, 2012 11:54 AM

    Why wasn’t my comment posted? I made it at around 10:15 a.m. central time this morning.

  17. footballer4ever says: Sep 16, 2012 11:58 AM

    dirtmcgirt24
    Sep 16, 2012, 11:13 AM EDT
    Modell, you know, actually owned an NFL team. To my knowledge, no biblical figures have. So there’s that…
    ************************************************
    @dirtmcgirt24
    (chuckles) noone was referring anything of biblical context so it makes no sense for you to bring that up. Nevetheless, comparing a mundane commissioner to a biblical figure is simply hilarious and maybe a new low on your repertoire.

    vasportsbrew
    Sep 16, 2012, 11:23 AM EDT
    Ray Lewis has EARNED the respect and the RIGHT to do something like this and not be fined. He was honoring a legendary NFL figure, not something outside the league. Smart move by NFL not to fine Ray, would have pissed off many players around the league.
    ************************************************
    Ray Lewis may have earned the respect, but that does not give him the RIGHT to do as he pleases. Anyways, wouldn’t it have been “respectful” of him to follow the protocol to request the league for permission to do that? i guess not. So where the “respect” that you so much talk about?
    Regardless of Lewis’ good intentions, he should be fined or else the league will put itself as a double standard league. Wait! It already is. Never mind. LOL

  18. 1zxcvbnm says: Sep 16, 2012 12:00 PM

    There is a reason Shakespeare wrote what he did about lawyers.

    Sometimes common sense wins out, even in the skewed world of the NFL. Everything does not have to be a quid pro quo.

  19. citizenstrange says: Sep 16, 2012 12:06 PM

    Goodell’s enforcement of any “rule” is at best whimisical and capricious.

  20. timb12 says: Sep 16, 2012 12:12 PM

    How did this turn into a Tebow story?

  21. ivyleaf98 says: Sep 16, 2012 12:13 PM

    Mike- apparently I hurt your feelings because you deleted my comment. I spoke the truth, and I called you out. Ray Lewis had a right to honor his late owner, Art Modell, so no he should NOT have been fined. It’s so crazy to be a petty complainer!!

  22. imback03 says: Sep 16, 2012 12:16 PM

    Lay off Ray Ray he is a living legend. Tebow does not deserve to be mentioned with him at all.

  23. patriotsdefense says: Sep 16, 2012 12:16 PM

    The double standard here was the owners wanting to praise a former and now fallen owner. If was wasn’t “A.M.” or “$$” I’m sure the NFL would have flipped out.

  24. cuda1234 says: Sep 16, 2012 12:29 PM

    Tim Tebow promoting himself? Shocking. That’s why both the Florida High School Athletic Association and the Southeastern Conference have rules against self-promotion – named after a guy the media tries to tell us is “team-first” and “selfless”.

  25. footballer4ever says: Sep 16, 2012 12:35 PM

    dirtmcgirt24
    Sep 16, 2012, 11:13 AM EDT
    Modell, you know, actually owned an NFL team. To my knowledge, no biblical figures have. So there’s that…
    ************************************************
    @dirtmcgirt24
    (chuckles) bringing up any biblical context to this topic is funny. I know it’s Sunday, but you are.pushing it now.

    vasportsbrew
    Sep 16, 2012, 11:23 AM EDT
    Ray Lewis has EARNED the respect and the RIGHT to do something like this and not be fined. He was honoring a legendary NFL figure, not something outside the league. Smart move by NFL not to fine Ray, would have pissed off many players around the league.
    ************************************************
    Earning the respect does not give anyone the RIGHT to do as they please no matter whatever good intentions were intended by Ray Lewis. Where was the honor and respect to follow the proper protocol to request permission to honor an individual on the field in a way which is not allowed to begin with? The league will be looked upon as a double standard league if anyone else repeats such action for a different cause and gets fined. Wait, what am i talking about? NFL already is a double standard league! Never mind.

  26. dirtmcgirt24 says: Sep 16, 2012 12:39 PM

    footballer4ever says:
    Sep 16, 2012 11:58 AM
    dirtmcgirt24
    Sep 16, 2012, 11:13 AM EDT
    Modell, you know, actually owned an NFL team. To my knowledge, no biblical figures have. So there’s that…
    ************************************************
    @dirtmcgirt24
    (chuckles) noone was referring anything of biblical context so it makes no sense for you to bring that up. Nevetheless, comparing a mundane commissioner to a biblical figure is simply hilarious and maybe a new low on your repertoire.

    —–

    The writer said what if Tebow made religious references and how would the league reconcile those messages with the Modell message.

    Reading comprehension. Try it.

  27. roadtrip3500 says: Sep 16, 2012 12:45 PM

    Ten years ago, Peyton Manning made an official request to wear the Johnny Unitas black high-tops after the legendary QB died. The NFL not only denied the request, but threatened huge fines if Manning took the field with them. In the end, Manning relented.

    If a prominent current member of a team wishes to honor the memory of a recently-deceased prominent member of the same team, the league should have some kind of “bereavement” rule that one current player can make a tasteful tribute to the departed. No NFL fan, player, coach, or executive would have had a problem with Peyton in those high-tops. Clearly, no one had a problem with Ray Lewis having “A M” on his eye-black. If, heaven forbid, Frank Gifford dies during the season and Ahmad Bradshaw wants to wear #16 for the following Giants game, the NFL shouldn’t even blink.

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