This is problematic:
Boomer Esiason caused quite a stir with his comments about Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis during CBS’ Super Bowl pregame show on Sunday.
Esiason said he was “not so sure” Lewis “gave us all the answers” regarding a double murder case the linebacker was wrapped up in 13 years ago. His comments were made after CBS aired a taped interview with Lewis and pregame co-host Shannon Sharpe.
Esiason wouldn’t back down from the remarks Monday during his WFAN morning-drive radio show with Craig Carton.
He said that Sharpe, who was signed by Baltimore less than one month after the Lewis incident, has “greater insight into that issue than anybody I know.” But Esiason had make his feelings known.
And most troubling of all:
“Now, (Sharpe) will not share that insight with me because he doesn’t feel like it’s fair, and I understand that 100 percent. But I also told Shannon, I said, ‘I can’t sit here again and just allow this to go — somebody has to be a voice of dissent and have the opposite viewpoint,’ ” Esiason said.
I don’t know Esiason, but unless he has inside knowledge as it relates to Lewis’ actions on the night of the murders, how can he say that he is “not sure” that Lewis “gave us all the answers”? Who is he to make that determination? What inside information does he have that would cast doubt on the story Lewis told police and prosecutors?
While Esiason basically accused Ray Lewis of being involved in a murder coverup, based on Lewis’ connection with two murders outside of an Atlanta nightclub over a decade ago, Esiason never mentions the rape allegations against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, which occurred just three years ago.
I’m not sure if I find it wholly appropriate for sports pundits to pick apart the actions of athletes once they exit the field, but that seems to be the norm, so I accept it. What I have a sincere problem with is the cherry-picking as it relates to which athletes are granted the opportunity to have their slates wiped clean and which are not. For some athletes, all transgressions are forgiven and never again mentioned, but for others, their legacies are forever tarnished by whisper campaigns, many of which are kept alive by vindictive sports writers and commentators.
Ray Lewis has found Christ, led his team to the Superbowl, and served as a mentor to other athletes, including Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. If there’s anyone who is deserving of a second chance, it’s Lewis. So when Esiason says, “‘I can’t sit here again and just allow this to go — somebody has to be a voice of dissent and have the opposite viewpoint” it’s total nonsense. It is no one’s responsibility to be a “voice of dissent” when the justice system has run its course. This isn’t one of those Left v. Right inane political debates. It’s a man’s life and legacy, and if Esiason can’t be serious about that, then maybe he should join Lewis in retirement.