Ray Lewis reacts to Odell Beckham’s response to his criticism

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Ray Lewis joins Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock to discuss Odell Beckham Jr's response to Lewis' criticism on yesterday's show.

- My initial response to this guy, I think this is positive. I think Ray's words landed with OBJ. And in the best way he could initially, he's trying to respond positively and affirm that he's not moving away from his foundation. Now again, whether he'll live this out or not-- But I think there are far worse responses I could have anticipated, more defensive, more aggressive responses. I think OBJ to the best of his ability is trying to say to Ray and others that, look, I'm not moving off of my foundation. I do still-- I'm still a Christ-centered athlete. But so far, I think his response-- I would have to consider it positive.

- Yeah. Generally when you respond on social media, it's snarky, it's firing back, it's coming down swinging. And I think OBJ is saying, I heard you, but I'm just going to show you God hasn't left my life. But I will say this-- let me go back to Ray's criticism-- when I think of OBJ today, the five images in my head are the catch, the boat, the Instagram model, the proposing to the net, and the injury. Some are football, some are not. But his imagery now ain't great, and they lost the catch game. What Ray said was, dude, you're not centered.

Now I am more agnostic than both you guys. But Ray's point landed for me because what Ray was saying to me was, man, when you're not centered-- I told you I had this conversation with my wife two days ago-- your life becomes about anxiety and chaos. You start looking at OBJ's last year, Jason, the imagery, football or not football, is not positive. That fight is one of the images. So it never-- I think his response was actually a sign of maturity, which is what I've been begging for from Odell for a year.

- You know what? I tell you what, man. I just got off the phone-- and I won't mention his name-- but I got off the phone with another player who called and asked for me to just be in his life, to pray for him, to mentor him, and all of these things. I'm going to share something with you guys. If that was-- if what I did yesterday was criticism, then God forbid what my kids go through. They don't have a choice. They don't have a chance. I'm telling you. And I said this earlier, what I said to Odell yesterday is the same thing I've said to my son, same thing I've said to my children, people that I love, people that I care for.

You know, you take people and they take one line and they change the whole thing. Ray Lewis says Odell has removed God from his life. I said he's took a break. Why? Because I remember when I was younger and I took a break. I remember when I had it all figured out. I remember when I had friends that, oh boy, they was bigger than God. The people for me to impress, that's who I got to hang out with. I remember it, Whit. And I had to be humbled. And that's why I tell you that if there's anything in your life that you know need changing, make sure you change it before God changes it.

And my whole message that all of this thing has came out now, and to even hear-- I don't read all this stuff and listen to people-- but to even be threatened that I'm trying to send people back to God. It's one thing I told my son. I can tell when you stop reading your Bible. I can tell when you stop praying because you become distant, you become your own man. Today, for me, what I've always known is who Odell is. What his foundation is, I've always known it. But, Whit, me and my business partner Phyllis Newhouse talk about this all the time. If God doesn't stay in the middle, the devil sends fiery darts from all angles. And if you don't stay covered-- I'm a living witness of it-- He will find you.

- This is one of the things I think is the most understood about the point you're making, is that you've made the mistake. And the reason why you're so passionate with Odell is because like, please God, don't make the mistakes I've made.

- Don't make my same mistakes.

- And again, I think Chris Carter--

- Yeah, Chris has been very, very outspoken. He was furious with him after the Instagram stuff.

- It's coming from the same place. It's not coming from jealousy. It's not coming from, oh my god, Odell's not returning my calls, or he's moved away from my mentorship. When you've made the mistake-- Again, it would be like me-- if I saw someone developing the eating habits I had as a child. I'd be like, whoa, you don't want to do that. I can tell you exactly how that plays out.

- Name another industry in the world that is pro sports. It is public. It makes 22-year-olds rich. And we have a history of many failing because they can't handle the money and the fame. There's almost no industry that pays people-- maybe Silicon Valley, but they're not public. We don't know who these engineers are. We have a track record in New York, in Dallas, young people get rich fast. Sometimes-- Ray, you talk about your early struggles-- the first time you have money, first time you have fame, women love you, friends love you, everybody-- And you make mistakes. So when you and Chris talk about it to me, it's not as religious-- which is what the internet struggled with-- it's really almost inspirational. Hey, brother, I've made a lot of mistakes. You're going through the same trajectory I am.

- My kids have one rule-- you can never make the same mistake I made. Why? Because I am your blueprint. You got to come to me. You have to come to me. Because when you disappoint me and you make the same mistake, then we did not discuss that mistake. You did not come to me as the person I am, which is your father. I father many, not just mine, right?

And this is the beautiful part about this-- and I said this earlier-- honest to God to you guys, this is the beautiful part about this. If this gets us back talking about God, then I'll take whatever dart you throw at me because I'm dedicated to make sure that boys, young men like him, see the other side of it. Like, we owe them that. That's why I've dedicated my life to helping so many young guys. That's why the phone call that I just got walking in here, that's why the 22-year-old that I'm about to go see that wants me to become his father, that I'm possibly going to adopt, you can't make this stuff up. That's why I never get swayed when I hear it, [POW], just noise, just noise, just noise. Because the mission is real. The purpose, man, it's deep.

- First time he came on our show, Ray talked a lot about this. I'm in the city. You know, Twitter is about talking about that. The very first time I met you, I remember asking you, what are you doing today? Well after the show, I'm going to downtown Los Angeles to a mission. And I'm like, you just did two shows. You're like, well, brother, that's what I do. So again, Ray's comments are going to be predictably criticized. But the reality is, there's a difference between talking it and doing it. And since I-- I didn't know Ray like you-- but when I met Ray, from the beginning it's been about action, not words.

- Colin, to the point you made earlier-- And then again, I think some people that are agnostic or even atheist, they hear Ray or me-- you know, Ray more passionately, Chris a bit more passionately-- they hear us talking about God and religion, and it kind of turns them off because it's not their thing. But to your point, something has to center you, and particularly when you become wealthy at a young age, because it will make you think that you're the most powerful thing on the planet. That's an experience they get. Seriously, without your wife and without your kids and the success you're having, it would be a lot harder to manage if your wife and kids didn't center you and give you a purpose and a calling.

- You know what time I went to bed last night? I'm married. 8:20. If I was single, there'd have been a 10, a 1. I mean, to reality, we all need a centering point. For me, I'm more agnostic, it is my family.

- Yeah. Absolutely.