Does anything like a sense of shame exist in the sports department of USA Today?
Apparently not. And apparently some people just can’t help but live down to your expectations of them.
Now I knew when Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis announced that this season would be his last go round in the National Football League, that someone – or a group of someones – at some newspaper, radio or television station would dredge up that nasty business from 13 years ago.
It’s a business that went something like this: On Jan. 31, 2000, around 4 a.m., Lewis and others were riding around Atlanta in a limo, celebrating the Super Bowl that had been played there the day before.
Members of Lewis’ party got into a fight with some other guys. When the dust settled, two of those other guys – Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar – lay sprawled in the streets of Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood. Both had died from stab wounds.
Paul Howard, the district attorney of Fulton County, Ga., charged Lewis and two other men – Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting – with the murders of Baker and Lollar.
Howard later dropped the murder charges against Lewis; the jury acquitted Oakley and Sweeting of all charges. But that didn’t fit the narrative that some people – like, say, sports editors at USA Today – wanted.
They bought into Howard’s depiction of Lewis, Oakley and Sweeting as cold-blooded murderers, and that’s the one they’re running with today.
So, as I stumbled across a Jan. 14 USA Today story with the headline, “Ray Lewis’ Career Marches on After Upset,” I wasn’t surprised to find a link to a story with THIS headline:
“Slayings Not Forgotten, Ray Lewis Not Forgiven.”
The headline implies that Lewis did indeed do something for which the families of Baker and Lollar should forgive him. If the headline wasn’t enough to convince readers that Lewis was a murdering menace, reporter Brent Schrotenboer made sure to include this sentence in the body of the story:
“Their (Baker’s and Lollar’s) murders remained unsolved. But as the anniversary of their deaths approaches – and as Lewis dances into the sunset of his career – the victims’ relatives are still seething at him. While Priscilla Lollar (Jacinth Lollar’s mother) says she’s ‘numb’ to Lewis, others want answers. And justice.”
Those answers and that justice were provided 13 years ago, at trial. The families of Baker and Lollar – and those sports editors at USA Today – just choose to live in denial and accept them.
I attended a couple of days of Lewis’ Atlanta trial. On day one, which I didn’t attend, the prosecution’s first witness – a woman who saw the fight that led to the stabbings – testified that a man in a red jacket was wielding a knife.
She identified neither Lewis, Oakley nor Sweeting as that man, probably because none of them was wearing a red jacket when the incident occurred.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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