When he was playing football, it was all about Ray Lewis. Now that he’s not playing, it’s still all about Ray Lewis.
Lewis has found a way to keep himself almost as relevant as he was when he was playing by repeatedly vowing to pay half of the fine imposed on linebacker Ahmad Brooks for violating the rules against forcibly striking a quarterback in the head or neck area.
Brooks was fined $15,750 for an illegal hit to Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
Lewis has said on ESPN that he’ll pay half the fine. According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Brooks will appeal the fine — but he won’t take money from Lewis.
Lewis has said Brooks will take it. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Lewis said, “I will see Ahmad on Monday and I will have a check in hand for half of the fine.”
League rules prohibit anyone paying fines other than the persons who are fined. As a practical matter, however, it becomes impossible for the NFL to determine whether money has changed hands.
But it’s not impossible for the NFL, which had no qualms about telling ESPN to shut down Playmakers a decade ago, to tell ESPN to tell its analysts to respect the league’s rules and procedures.
Meanwhile, someone should tell ESPN that the efforts of guys like Lewis and Tedy Bruschi to support and promote violent acts in football will serve only to bolster the efforts of ESPN’s in-house Woodward and Bernstein-Wada brothers to ultimately shut down the sport.