Former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis is committed to fighting American race relations. Citing boxing great Muhammad Ali and retired Cleveland Browns player Jim Brown before him, Lewis said he inherited the battle.
He told Cigar Aficionado he “won’t stop” informing people about race.
“There’s a war that Jim Brown, Ali, that all those guys passed down to me. Why? Because I think everybody in the streets, everybody knows who I’m for, what I’m for and what I stand for. I hold these conversations at my house to enlighten people on life.”
Lewis has taken issue with one organization founded to inform society about race issues. In April, he went on a Facebook rant blasting Black Lives Matter – and taking on the myth of Black-on-Black crime.
“I’m trying to figure out in my mind why no one is paying attention to Black men killing Black men,” he said.
“I know Black lives matter, because I’m a Black man, but man, stop killing each other. Man, we got to put these guns down in Chicago. Baltimore, Miami, man it ain’t that hard. You got to be OK with earning a living. It ain’t supposed to be easy.”
Speaking to Cigar Aficionado, the two-time Super Bowl champion believes the government won’t step in and end police brutality because “they don’t know what it feels like.”
“They don’t walk the streets. You know what America has told us? Make it out and don’t go back,” he continued. “That’s what we’ve been told. Build the big houses, go away. Get far away from all that other stuff because there’s too much going on. I’m the opposite. I’m not leaving. It’ll never stop. It’ll never stop for me because my fight is the same fight Jim Brown had.”
As for what he’s doing to advocate for racial justice, he said his work goes further than most.
“I do more for people in broken neighborhoods than probably anybody you’ll know. And you won’t find one camera.”
According to the Baltimore Ravens’ official website, Lewis is the founder of The Ray Lewis Foundation. It helps youth in Maryland and Florida personally and financially. The organization regularly hosts a fitness clinic, a back-to-school donation drive in Baltimore, and a coat and blanket drive.