(Bleacher Report) – It’s been 15 years , but former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis is opening up about a 2000 altercation that left two men dead. Lewis denied any role in the stabbing deaths of those men outside an Atlanta nightclub as part of a memoir titled, I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game and Glory, which was released Tuesday.
Rana L. Cash of the Sporting News notes Lewis, who faced two charges of murder before pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, states in the new autobiography that he played no direct role in the incident, and his settlement with the victims’ families was not an admission of guilt.He admits chaos erupted as his group was leaving the club following a party on the night of Super Bowl XXXIV.
He states men approached them and started “making noise, making trouble,” but he worked to get everybody from his group into a limo as shots were fired at the vehicle.
Lewis makes a point in the book that his clothing for the event made it clear he had no interest in becoming involved in a fight, according to Cash:
Remember, I was dressed out, had my jewelry on, my fine mink coat. I wasn’t about to start mixing it up looking like that. That’s the general rule of thumb when you’re doing the town and looking good. The nicer you’re dressed, the less inclined you are to get in a fight — that is, if you’re even inclined in that way to begin with.
The 13-time Pro Bowler says he didn’t call police because nobody in the limo was seriously hurt.
It wasn’t until he returned to the hotel and turned on the television that he found out police were looking for the car after two men were stabbed.
He was arrested and spent time in jail, where he states he heard the voice of God. It led him down the path to settling with the families because he “answered the way God laid it on my heart,” as noted in an excerpt from the Sporting News:
I could not bring those two young men back. I had no hand in their deaths, I could not ease the suffering of those families.
But I had so many blessings in my life, I told myself I could use some of those blessings for those good people.
They were hurting. I was hurting. It was not an admission of guilt — it was an expression of love, of sympathy. I gave because I had it to give.
I knew that money would never bring back what the families wanted most. But they asked for it so I gave.