It’s unfair to compare Aaron Hernandez and Ray Lewis

Aaron Hernandez

On Wednesday, tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested, released by the New England Patriots, and then charged with first-degree murder and five other firearm violations all within hours of each other.

As the shocking developments continue to unfold surrounding Hernandez’s alleged involvement in the events that led to the death of Odin Lloyd, 27 on the night of June 14th, comparisons by multiple media outlets continue to draw a connection between Hernandez and Ravens legend Ray Lewis.

This is unfortunate for Lewis, as his name was cleared in the stabbing deaths of two young men outside of an Atlanta night club back in January, 2000. However, Lewis apparently will never escape the guilty verdict in the court of public opinion despite the fact that an ambitious Atlanta District Attorney could never mount a compelling case against him and his celebrity status.

Meanwhile, evidence described by Massachusetts prosecutors on Wednesday suggests that Hernandez, 23 hardly matches up with the public persona of a maturing young athlete. The prosecution alleges that Hernandez “orchestrated [Odin Lloyd's] execution.”

Comparatively speaking Lewis was in the wrong place at the wrong time, hanging with the wrong people. He made some mistakes that night, perhaps driven by panic and visions of a promising career going down the drain. But never was there a developing case and a mountain of evidence that allegedly rivals Fenway’s Green Monster, like there is against Hernandez.

Nevertheless, Lewis remains a convenient comparative point of reference for many in the media when describing Hernandez’ case when really the only thing these cases have in common are that they involve an NFL player and that men died.

Lewis led an exemplary and decorated career from January, 2000 forward as a model player on and off the field. And perhaps it’s those accomplishments coupled with his connectivity to that horrific night in Buckhead, near Atlanta, Georgia that brings the future Hall of Famer to the forefront when tragedies like this happen.

No one ever seems to draw parallels to the name of Rae Carruth who was convicted of murder while a promising wide receiver of the Carolina Panthers.

Fingering Lewis is lazy, irresponsible and quite frankly unintelligent.

Maybe these “professionals” when covering the Hernandez case should keep in mind that another man is dead, his family grieves and another promising career just came to a tragic end.

That’s the real part of the story, not Ray Lewis.

39 Raves on “It’s unfair to compare Aaron Hernandez and Ray Lewis

  1. eric on said:

    You are right. Rae Carruth’s name has long been forgotten with that case being more tragic. I am not crying one bit over the two fools in Georgia that died because they probably started the whole incident in the first place.

  2. Kathi on said:

    well stated as always Kris… I just don’t understand why people don’t want to get the facts right-Ray was never charged with murder–obstruction of justice

  3. Marcus on said:

    Goob, I really love this article. You make great points, but you know as well as I do, if the mainstream media has a chance to kick Baltimore, they will.

  4. Bob on said:

    Ray Lewis was never ‘cleared’ of the charges. The case fell apart, so they offered him a deal and he couldn’t afford not to take it. I’m not saying he killed those two men, but there’s a big distinction between being cleared (i.e., exculpatory evidence is discovered proving he didn’t do it) and the prosecution throwing in the towel because they either don’t have enough evidence or blew the case.

  5. Mike on said:

    Ray was totally cleared of the charges, as was the 2 defendants. The jury said it was self defense. One of the victims had a gun. Someone took the gun off the victim and shot up the Limo. The prosecutors never chargedthat person with attempted murder. As for the prosecution, they went after Ray because he had a big name and squeezed him. The only thing Ray was guilty of was hanging around old friends from his neigborhood. As for running away and covering up, if I was shot a 16 times I would have kept on running too. Its all about hate. You Hate Ray because he is Rich, Successful, Black, and a Raven!

  6. AK on said:

    Ray’s name will always come up in connection to these types of stories. Someone will always be willing to take a shot at the king. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It keeps his tale of redemption fresh and alive. Yes, we all carry skeletons from our yesterdays. And yes, a new sun rises on each of our tomorrows.

  7. Fran the Fan on said:

    We, as Ravens fans, should by now realize that the Ray Lewis story will ALWAYS contain the 2000 Buckhead incident. It’s as much a part of his career as the 2 Super Bowl wins and the 2 DPOY awards. It will, for better or worse, always be compared with the Rae Carruth and now the Hernandez incidents.

    It doesn’t matter that Ray was a standup guy before, and a sterling citizen after the incident. I’m pretty much tired of defending Ray on PFT and arguing with Mike Florio and his trolls. People will believe what they want to believe, and unfortunately that’s the way it is.

  8. chris on said:

    Well said.

    And now we have annoying Patriots fans bragging about how much classier their organization is than ours because they cut ties with Hernandez rather than “stand behind a murderer”. You can’t talk reason with these clowns. It’s sad that Lewis will always be seen as guilty in the court of public opinion.

  9. Pop on said:

    Nice piece. You laid out the facts very clearly without trying to embellish anything for the sake of sensationalism. Leave that to the doubters. Ray has nothing to prove to his family, friends or fans. Keep the good articles commuting.

  10. Jazz on said:

    Thank You. The obsession with Ray Lewis only highlights the reall issue. The hatred for a black man that was innocent & was over charged. I hate the likes of Mike Florio, he’s unprofessional and iches for his chance to compare Ray to Hernandez. A 13 year old case has become a fixation of a mental illness.

  11. Ollie on said:

    The parallels are uncanny. Running with the wrong crowd, involved at the scene of a murder and then charged with murder. It’s an obvious and accurate comparison to draw to this point in the story, not lazy journalism in the slightest.

    Obviously the end result looks likely to be different but the similarities with Rays case are uncanny so you can’t be surprised that comparison is made.

    • Reading Comments By Goofies on said:

      Since my other comment was not approved how bout this one?

      Ay what a bunch of malarkey it is!

      Only 4 people at the seen and one is dead. And clearly being irritated with the person that wound up dead because they were speaking with people you disliked. Having an expensive surveillance security system at your home that has been conveniently destroyed around the the same as victim was murdered showing you walking across the room with a gun at one point.
      Driving around with somebody a year earlier and shooting them in the face?
      Yep, the similarities between what happened with Lewis are just uncanny.
      The only thing that is uncanny is your version of reality.

  12. T-Bone Tom on said:

    Ray Lewis was more than just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He obstructed justice and lied to the police, when he saw what happened and knew who did it. He even abetted their flight from the scene. Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting were found not guilty in the murder of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. Perhaps they were innocent of the charges as well, but the lies and obfuscations told certainly made it difficult to prosecute the case. It is also a little disingenuous to claim the Fulton County District Attorney, Paul Howard was motivated by Lewis’ celebrity. More so, it is probably fair to say, Fulton was driven to know the facts from Lewis and stop the “no snitching” stance he bullheadedly took. Lewis’ bravado was the reason he was a suspect. So let’s not pretend Lewis was not knee deep in the murder and its after math. That is just revisionist thinking and Baltimore Fan pandering.

    That said, what Ray Lewis has done since, in the aftermath of that night is worthy of note and should stand as an example to others.

    • Matthew Richey on said:

      Agreed 100%. Just because we love the man here doesn’t mean we get to put the blinders on to his mistakes.

    • Reading Comments By Goofies on said:

      People are still saying he committed murder, and it has no validity.
      As far as bravado imagine that. You are an NFL Middle Linebacker, suppose to be tough as nails, probably the best MLB in the league, know your innocent, and have a code to no be a rat. Wow, hard to imagine.
      I don’t have blinders on either. I am not giving Lewis a pass.
      He was not a saint even after he got off as many of you put it. It took a few years before he stopped hanging out in clubs, and running with albeit less of, another group of what could still be called the wrong crowd.
      And remember his brief stint on ESPN? Class is not what I would call it.

    • Reading Comments By Goofies on said:

      It’s always Lewis though. And is pointed out in this article there is a much better comparison of someone who WAS FOUND GUILTY!
      And it’s classic, you guys disagree with this article are also overlooking that completely. Reading, and singling out what you want to.
      There are zero comparison’s to what happened with Lewis, and what is happening with Hernandez! ZERO!

      • Matthew Richey on said:

        No will ever make the comparison to Ray Carruth because Carruth was never a star. Attaching him to any story about Hernandez actually makes it harder to understand because 95% of people have to google Carruth to even know he was in the league. Comparing Hernandez to Lewis makes much more sense.

  13. Joe V. on said:

    If the Pats had class they would not have drafted Hernandez in the first place. Many teams knew this guy was a thug with gang issues and that is why he dropped to the 4th round.

  14. nasmac on said:

    If Ray was so innocent, what happened to the white suit he was wearing the night? It all of a sudden disappeared? Ray took the plea to snitch on his friends. They had no evidence because they methodically got rid of everything, like the white suit. Revisionism is great to read.

  15. patrick on said:

    Don’t you think its a little early to dismiss the comparison? Don’t you think you’re rushing to judgement about Hernandez? Don’t you think you’re making the same mistake as the millions who made up their mind about Lewis soon after the charges were made and before he had his day in court? It’s easy for you to say that Lewis never had the developing case and mountain of evidence against him, because you’re speaking 13 years after Lewis was able to defend himself against the charges and evidence (he was indicted by a grand jury) against him. At this early point in the case, this “mountain of evidence” against Hernandez is nothing more than allegations by the state which have not been properly cross-examined. The George Zimmerman trial should make you aware that you should wait until the trial before you go assuming that someone is guilty.

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