Count former New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer among those who have had enough of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.
Toomer played against Lewis in Super Bowl XXXV, and although he says he has great respect for the linebacker as a player, he has grown tired of Lewis stealing the spotlight from his Ravens teammates.
"It’s definitely all about him," Toomer, who now works for NBC Sports Radio, told USA Today on Wednesday. "Once a guy goes to the center of the field, goes into the victory formation on the last play of his last home game. … I just don’t think the Giants or any organization I’ve ever been a part of, even growing up, would allow somebody to single themselves out like that."
Lewis has announced that Sunday will be his final game in the NFL, which has been the primary storyline following Baltimore throughout these playoffs. The future Hall of Famer has ramped up his already bombastic on-field persona — including elaborate dance routines and emotional press conferences — over the past month, to a point that Toomer feels is beginning to border on ridiculous.
"If you single yourself out after you make a play, that’s one thing," he said. "But to walk out on the field reminds me of the WWE, like the Rock coming out. You’re becoming a caricature of yourself. It’s exhausting. I don’t know why somebody would want that."
Toomer also touched on the difference between Ray Lewis the Man of God and Ray Lewis the man who was accused of double murder and who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. Lewis has still never publicly addressed what happened that night.
"If you want to say you’re Mr. Religious and all of that, have a clean record. Don’t say all of that stuff if you know there’s stuff that might come back," Toomer said. "Those are the things that, when I look at him, I just think hypocrisy."
Luckily for the former wideout, Sunday will be the last time we’ll see Ray Lewis on the sport’s biggest stage. Until he begins his reported gig as an ESPN analyst, that is.