Ray Lewis still may be a controversial figure in some corners of the country, but one of those corners is not Baltimore.
In his final season, the last of the original Ravens just led his team to a Super Bowl victory, and about the only argument over him among Baltimore fans is whether he was a better leader or a better linebacker. And to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, that is a legacy that deserves to be preserved in bronze.
Bisciotti told ESPN that the team plans to erect a statute of Lewis outside M&T Bank Stadium, joining the great Baltimore sports icon Johnny Unitas, the Hall of Fame Colts quarterback whose statue is the only one at the stadium.
"I think he set himself apart in Baltimore sports history, and we will certainly look into it and I would not be surprised if there is one there in the next year or two," Bisciotti said.
Though Lewis made 13 Pro Bowls, was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice and won two Super Bowls, his legacy also includes a 2000 arrest in which he initially was charged with murder after two men were killed at a party in Atlanta. Lewis ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice and testified about two men charged with the murders. They were not convicted.
One columnist for The Sun of Baltimore has also suggested that another Baltimore Colts great, running back Lenny Moore, deserves a statue at M&T Bank Stadium before Lewis.