Ray Lewis not sorry for hit that got him fined

After leveling Bengals reciever Chad Ochocinco with a helmet-to-helmet hit last month, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was fined $25,000. But in a new interview, Lewis says he wouldn’t do anything differently.

Speaking to Marshall Faulk for an interview set to air Sunday on NFL Network’s NFL GameDay Morning, Lewis said he wouldn’t try to injure an opponent, but he wouldn’t back off just to avoid a fine, either.

“I don’t believe there’s one man out there on the football field that’s looking to hurt somebody,” Lewis said in an excerpt of the interview that NFL Network released to the media. “My job as a linebacker is to buckle up my chin strap and if anybody comes in the middle of the field, to make them feel it while the play is going on. I didn’t hit him after the whistle; I hit him during a play. That’s football. And if I had to do it again, I’d do it a million times the same way.”

Lewis’s comments raise the question of whether fines really act as a deterrent to NFL players in the heat of battle. If Lewis is willing to state openly that he’d do the same thing over again, he obviously didn’t learn whatever lesson the NFL was hoping he’d learn from getting fined. Do all the fines the NFL hands out each week for illegal hits actually make the game any safer? Lewis’s comments suggest that fines don’t change players’ behavior.

58 responses to “Ray Lewis not sorry for hit that got him fined

  1. Twenty five grand is tip money to Lewis. His place is secure and he can say anything he wants, but he is right. I think Lewis is a gasbag, but he got a raw deal on this. How was he supposed to stop himself in mid-air ? How could he know that JOHNSON wasn’t going to catch it ?

  2. Once again, it wasn’t helmet-to-helmet:

  3. They should fine him again, just for saying, “I’d do it a million times the same way.”
    It was a very cheap & dirty shot. What part of that doesn’t he understand?

  4. Maybe that’s because it was a legal hit to begin with. Chad just wears a helmet way too big and with his chinstrap not buckled.

  5. Well if Chad doesn’t feel he should be fined(who he hit) and didn’t care about the hit why would he do it again?

  6. Fines are basically chump change. The Panther player that was suspended for one game and 6% of his overall salary for his special teams cheap shot will think twice though.

  7. The press Lewis is getting for that hit is worth more than the 25 it cost him. If you could afford it, you’d pay that much to knock Chad’s helmet into the upper deck. That shot will be shown more than once in the future when they run they run his highlight reel. Ray can’t dance a lick, but he hits like a truck.

  8. Well, I’ve said it before, but Ray Lewis is a thug. He’s a fabulous player, but he’s a thug. He got lucky getting off of murder charges because the witnesses decided to change their minds. It was a horribly dirty hit.

  9. @Michael David Smith:
    Did you watch a slow motion replay of the hit? Ray had left his feet as did Ocho before the play on the ball was over. Ray hit him with his shoulder pad not helmet to helmet. Ocho’s helmet came off and the ref flew the flag. Watch the replay! Ray should have said – the ref screwed up – but that would lead to another fine!

  10. Sorry for a hit on the field?
    He isn’t sorry for murdering a guy, so what makes anyone think he would be sorry for anything else?

  11. “Lewis said he wouldn’t try to injure an opponent”
    Chris Johnson would beg to differ; ala the old ankle twist in the pile (after the whistle) in last years divisional playoff game against the Titans.

  12. There’s a very simple way to stop illegal hits. If a player is called for a penalty on an illegal hit he should be out of the game until the player he hit comes back into the game.

  13. Very simple … you let up in the NFL and the majority of the force of the collision is transferred over to you. Hit or be hit … simple physics. That’s why these guys will never change their ways and I don’t blame ’em.

  14. “What happens to this fine money anyways? Does the NFL just line it’s pockets?”
    Goes to charity I believe. The league does not keep it.
    “If a player is called for a penalty on an illegal hit he should be out of the game until the player he hit comes back into the game.”
    And if he injures a player with an illegal hit he should not be allowed back on the field until the player he injured can play again. Take a guy’s knee out with a cheap shot ? You don’t play until that torn acl is healed and lose all the game checks in between.

  15. Unpaid suspensions are one way to eliminate these hits. The other is to remove the face mask from the helmet. No player is going to lead with his helmet is there is no longer a face mask.

  16. As a Steelers fan, you won’t find me sticking up for the Ravens in general.
    However, there’s a couple aspects of this story, as it’s written, that bother me.
    First, I agree with others who dispute that it was a helmet-to-helmet hit. I’d like to see evidence of their helmets hitting, because all of the evidence I’ve seen doesn’t show it.
    More importantly though, is the authors assertion that just because Lewis said he wouldn’t do anything differently is some kind of proof that Lewis “didn’t learn his lesson”.
    The problem with this line of thinking is that it implies that this stuff is always under the players (in this case, the tacklers) control. It just isn’t. It’s a fast game, there’s no “perfect” technique that will guarantee that helmets aren’t going to collide.
    When I hear players like Lewis claim they’re not going to do anything differently, I don’t view it as a sign of disrespect. There’s no point in a perennial all-pro altering the way they play the game to try to always avoid something that cannot always be avoided.

  17. Why would he care about a dirty hit when he showed no remorse or regret regarding his role in murder? How guys like Ray Ray and Leonard Little are still able to be “role models” and make millions is beyond me. If I did either of the things these two did I would still be rotting in jail…
    It’s time to wake up America. Plax is in jail for shooting HIMSELF while Little and Lewis are having the time of their lives. Not that Plax doesn’t deserve to be punished but nobody is dead because of what he did. For whatever reason, that fact is lost on the masses.

  18. FWIW, I’ve always thought this particular hit fell under that new “defenseless receiver” rule, not the specific helmet-to-helmet rule.
    Are we argueing over the fine, or the flag?

  19. 1st off I dont think Ray Lewis has 25 billion dollars to make that hit a million times. Secondly we all know the fines dont me jack to the players. They figure its a good price to play to help their team win. In the long run they will get them money back because even tho its an illegal play coaches and gm see those kind of hits and think I want a guy like that on my team. So they will go out and get the player and pay the extra money for him.
    The only way hits like that will stop if its an automatic ejection or suspension. That way the players cant say they were doing to help their team. Because it would do the opposite. Not only would they get a 15 yard penalty but they would lose one of their starters. Then no player could use that as an excuse.
    I personally have no problem with the hits. Its football and thats how its suppose to be played. Nobody is forcing these guys to go out there and risk their bodies. They choose this life and are getting payed very well for it. Call me dumb but I would let anyone of those players hit me as hard as they can without defending myself for 1 of their game checks.

  20. Wow so many inaccurate statements in this post and the subsequent comments it makes my head spin.
    First, Mr. Michael David Smith, the hit was not helmet-to-helmet. If you’d done a simple Google Image search before writting this piece you’d have found several still shots of the hit in question that show that Ray made a textbook shoulderpad hit. There was no helmet to helmet. Mr. Johnson’s helmet flew off b/c he, like so many players these days, doesn’t tighten his chin strap. Exhibit A:
    Next, Mr. Valis333, if you’re going to throw around accusations at least get the player in question right. Ray Lewis was never accused of purposely injuring Chris Johnson. Ed Reed was accused of twisting Chris Johnson like a pretzel, not Ray.
    Dadindebt, excellent idea! Get rid of face masks! Especially when Congress is grilling the NFL over head injuries and the long-lasting effects on the players. Brilliant!
    Last but not least, the old-as-the-hills, Ray is a murderer drivel. Child Please! Again do some research, there’s an article out there where the head legal analyst for ESPN (Alan J. Baverman) reviewed the case and said that the prosecution had no evidence linking Ray Lewis to the murders. In fact, he went on to say the D.A. went after him so that he’d give up the names of the actual perpetrators. Ray eventually did turn over the names of two men, and even after Ray testifed against them those two men were also found innocent.
    As a Ravens fan I find myself in shock that the most sensible comment on this page was made by mborz, a Steelers fan. What is this world coming to!?

  21. I still can’t believe he got fined for the hit. It was a clean though vicious hit. Just as Chad. He will agree. I am curious though, would he have got fined if he had drop kicked Chad instead?

  22. Oh my Lord. This whole Ray is a murderer thing is so old and played that folks who still try to use this as a slam against the man just sound like the typical illiterate redneck inbred country hicks that they are. I mean it’s so ten years ago. So keep tooting that old horn and exposing yourself as the morons that you are.

  23. We’ve seen a lot of tough guys in the NFL that most fans would hold in high regard. Lewis is NOT one of them. He is nothing more than a thug! He should have been out of the league years ago.

  24. I know he’s got the whole murder thing going against him, but taking that away, he’s not saying he tried injuring anyone. He’s just playing the game.

  25. “CharmCityRavens
    Last but not least, the old-as-the-hills, Ray is a murderer drivel”
    Dear child, a drivel? two peple were muredered you moron!..Ray the murder lewis settled because if it ever went to cival trials and he was sued by everone involved he would have been found guilty,which he is and always will be.Legal incident:
    Despite his accomplishments on the field, Lewis’ public image was tarnished following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000. Following the party, a fight broke out between him and rapper Chino Nino’s entourage, in which Jacinth Baker, 21, and Richard Lollar, 24, died from stab wounds. Lewis and two companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were brought to an Atlanta police station for questioning. Eleven days later, along with Oakley and Sweeting, Lewis was indicted for murder and aggravated assault.
    During the trial, several witnesses whose testimony would supposedly prove Lewis’ guilt had altered their stories initially given to investigators.[citation needed] Their testimonies were supposed to show that Ray Lewis hit, kicked or stabbed someone, and that he even admitted as much afterwards. Instead, the vast majority of testimony had either been inconclusive, or else supported the defense’s contention that Lewis acted solely as a peacemaker, trying to prevent a tragedy that he would be tied to and potentially hurt his career. According to ESPN legal analyst, Alan J. Baverman, “as to Ray Lewis, there is no evidence that he assisted anybody in a stabbing or encouraged anybody to do a stabbing which would make him a party to felony murder, malice murder, or felony assault with a knife.”[18]
    Lewis’s attorney arranged with prosecutors to dismiss the murder charges if Lewis pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice[19] in exchange for him testifying against Oakley and Sweeting. Lewis accepted the plea bargain and was sentenced to one year of probation. He was not suspended by the NFL but was fined US$250,000, a league record at the time.
    Oakley and Sweeting were acquitted of the charges in June 2000. No other suspects have ever been arrested for the crime.
    The following year, Lewis was named Super Bowl XXXV MVP. However, due to the controversy, he did not get the endorsements or the Disney World trip offered to recent MVP recipients. The signature phrase “I’m going to Disney World!” was given instead by quarterback Trent Dilfer.
    On April 29, 2004, Lewis reached a settlement with four-year-old India Lollar, born months after the death of her father Richard, preempting a scheduled civil proceeding. [20] Lewis also reached an undisclosed settlement with Baker’s family.

  26. I think Ray Lewis is just wants to talk. I don’t care how much money a person has, nobody wants to just give away $25,000 because someone tells them too.
    And the way a lot of athletes manage their money, that $25,000 might be on loan lol

  27. So what you’re telling me is that the ref got it wrong and it clearly wasn’t a dirty hit and that anyone who watches the tape will clearly see that? Then why did the NFL fine him? They review the tape before issuing fines.
    It clearly wasn’t helmet to helmet, but he his a defenseless receiver and that’s why he got fined. It was pretty obvious to me watching it live at the time it happened. The ball was over his head well before Ray Ray got there and Lewis did nothing to stop his momentum. I got the game at home so I’ll have to review the tape, but I don’t think Ray Ray even protested the call too much. He wants to send a message to the receivers to not come over the middle, regardless of the penalty involved.

  28. Hey CharmCityRavens I’m with you 100%. I get so annoyed at these sports writers that don’t know jack and are to lazy to fact check.
    Then there are the tools on this blog that couldn’t find their own butts with both hands on a clear day. They spout drivel like politicians who get paid to lie. Say it long enough and loud enough and it becomes the truth (THEIR TRUTH).
    The man gets paid to hit other men. It was a clean hit and the refs should be fined for stupid – of course if you did that they would all be on welfare.
    Second Ray WAS NEVER CONSIDERED A SUSPECT!! Look it up for christ sake then LET IT GO!!! BORING
    As much as I’m not a Steelers fan, they play football, they get it………

  29. If you actually believe that the fines aren’t changing players behavior you clearly have not been watching football in the last year.
    I can’t count the number of times I have seen players pull up or try to change an angle of attack. While these guys make a lot of money I pretty sure no one likes pulling 25k out of their pocket.
    The problem with the system is that there are times in the heat of battle at the speed of this game some hits are going to be unavoidable. And as a preious poster mentioned letting up at the wrong time could end up injuring the player delivering the blow.
    The system is clearly flawed but is at least partially functioning n its end goal of trying to improve player safety on the field.

  30. It makes me feel dirty to defend Ray Lewis, but there was nothing wrong with that hit. If Ochostinko doesn’t want to get hit, he needs to do more than pull a Pinkston… he needs to stay on the sidelines.

  31. For one its going to take guys time to adjust especially if they been using there head since pop warner days,but the play was bordeline at best,and thats Rays mentality to knock the spit out of you until the whistle is blown.
    Of course guys bring up his murder charges ,which have nothing to do with this topic .

  32. To CharmCity and grey32:
    Your versions of the murder story are almost completely uninformed.
    And on top of that, you both have the gall to suggest that the rest of us (who actually know the story) are the ones spouting lies.
    Do your homework before you go poppin’ off like that.

  33. @ Len Dawson
    You are nuts if you think these guys care about 25k. They spend more than that on the stereo systems in their cars.

  34. Ben Roetlisbunger
    Speaking of fact checking (It’s not just for sports journalists anymore!), Ochostinko didn’t have a problem with the hit, the NFL did. Chad lobbied for Ray to not get fined, but since Lewis broke the agreed upon rules, there was no way for them not to fine him. It seems some of you have a problem with the rule rather than the correct interpretation of the rules.

  35. 1) Watching a slo-mo replay or tracking down the still shot is probably the easiest bit of research Smith could have done for this piece. He was flagged and fined for the “defenseless receiver” thing, not H2H. Once again, nice work PFT.
    2) @ Valis333: CJ didn’t injure his ankle on that play.
    3) @ chris: Wikipedia is not a source.

  36. Ray is just mad they he didn’t make the top ten dirtiest player list. Especially since a wr got the top spot. He should be pissed as a smashmouth linebacker that he thinks he is.When ball was a mans game,it was a honor to be at top of these lists. Better try harder Ray.

  37. Yeah, Bazooka Joe is right. Murder is overhyped and played out. We should just leave OJ alone too — I mean that was 15 years ago. In fact, Bazooka Joe is so right that us “rednecks and inbreds” should lobby the government to reduce the lifetime sentences for murder because obviously it gets played out after only a few years. Those guys should be let free to roam the streets again and people should forget it ever happened.

  38. I hate the Ravens but I would love to have Ray Lewis on my team. That guy goes full steam every play plus he makes everyone around him better.

  39. One man’s hard nosed football play is another man’s cheap shot. Just depends on who you are rooting for. Rays hit was a guy going full speed trying to make a play.
    And why is it that it always seems to be a Bengal player that is getting blown-up by these so-called cheap shots and then complaining about it? The Bengals still cry about the time Hines Ward put Keith Rivers to sleep when he wasn’t paying attention. Man up and defend yourselves, don’t cry about it!

  40. Dirty person and dirty player. He says he doesn’t go out to hurt people, and with most people I would agree. However i have seen him do it very intentionally this year. Brady was sliding and he intentionally went low and helmet first, trying to launch himself into Brady’s back. He missed, but it was VERY obvious. If he tries to say that he started before the slide (which would be a lie) he would have to explain why he was going for the QBs knees, which would have been the case if Brady was not sliding.
    Fines don’t work, and player after players says it won’t change how they play, which is the point of the fines, yes? I say that if a player says this, or doesn’t change, he should be suspended. Maybe that will change people. Of course, then the Titans wouldn’t have enough players to take the field or a head coach. The Ravens might not either, but I digress.

  41. Man, why are all these cheap shot artists still complaining about their fines? Why do all these cheap shot artists like Whines Hard and Ray Boohoois complain nonstop when they break the rules or do something that gets a rule put in place? Man up and come at people when they aren’t defenseless, don’t cry about it!

  42. Laxer37-
    You need to get the info before you start bashing the Bengals for complaning!!!
    #1- Chad never complained about the hit, he ACTUALLY said he didn’t see anything wrong with it and that part of going over the middle. (He did have a nice mouse over his eye and a black eye in interviews after the game)
    #2- The Bengals still cry about the Hines Ward hit? none of them would even comment on it before the 1st game this year. I do also believe there is now a rule making that hit ILLEGAL?
    #3- The flag was for hitting a defensless reciever, not helmet-to-helmet.
    #4- Chad has shown the particular helemet he wear just for the Ravens and Steelers game has EXTRA buckles on it, to keep the chinstrap in place. So no he does not run around with it being loose, just so it comes off eaiser.

  43. How can you not love Suga Ray? People whine about his hard hits and get all pissy saying he’s a murderer. The man has changed, just look at the way he speaks and the presence around him. IDC what anybody says, i’ve watched Ray now for 5 or 6 years and no one is a better defender or leader than Ray Lewis. I’m glad to see people still fear Ray haha. All you crybaby fans whining about Ray’s legal hit. If Ochopricko catches the ball, it’s a different story. It’s not Ray’s fault that Carson Palmer can’t throw an accurate pass… but i’ll gaurantee ya one thing, Chad aint never goin over the middle again hahahahahahahaha

  44. Of course Ray Lewis will do this again and again…
    He’s a murderer so, why shouldn’t anyone be surprised by him cheating and playing dirty… The guy doesn’t have an honest bone in his body, and no real talent at football, unless of course he plays dirty and cheats…

  45. Dick Winniberg
    If Ray’s hit was legal, he would have been neither flagged nor fined. That’s kind of common sense.
    Also, Chad has gone over the middle in every game since that hit. If you were talking about he won’t go over the middle against the Ravens (maybe you should have used less ha’s and more regular words), I guess we’ll see on Sunday, huh?
    Also, I think you’re wrong in your assumption that people still fear Ray Ray. Only a couple of plays later, Andre Caldwell went over the middle to catch a touchdown to beat the Ravens. He didn’t look like he was in fear for his safety on that play.

  46. @ shinsnake: There are always opportunities to get open over the middle, especially when you drag the nickel down by his facemask first.

  47. why would a fine or even injuring another player matter much to a murderer, re: Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar.
    On April 29, 2004, Lewis reached a settlement with four-year-old India Lollar, born months after the death of her father Richard, preempting a scheduled civil proceeding. Lewis also reached an undisclosed settlement with Baker’s family.

  48. Flab Treesports
    That’s not what he argued though. He argued that people are afraid of Ray Lewis again and they fear going over the middle. I was just showing it as a stupid comment by reminding him that a few plays later a 2nd year player went over the middle to catch the game winning touchdown. I’m pretty sure it was Ray Lewis’ arm that Palmer rifled the pass over. If fear of Ray Lewis was present, Caldwell would have been nowhere near the ball. But obviously, that’s not the case since he was near Lewis, and the ball, and he did catch it for the game winning touchdown. Where’s the fear again?

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