OWINGS MILLS — Former Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis issued a statement reacting to his arrest Wednesday night in Georgia, where he was charged with a single count of child abandonment.
“My arrest on Wednesday evening was the result of a misunderstanding rather than the result of me being an unfit father,” Lewis said in the statement. “I am a responsible parent and have always provided for my children. That fact cannot be disputed. I have made mistakes in my life, but failing to care for my children is not one of them. I’m confident this matter will be resolved as the legal process plays out, and I will continue to work toward an arrangement within the court system that will allow me to effectively co-parent my son.”
Lewis, 32, has been processed and released from jail.
Retired from football, Lewis allegedly hasn’t been in contact with his son over the past year, according to court records.
A former 2,066-yard rusher and NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2003, Lewis is scheduled to be inducted into the Ravens’ Ring of Honor in September prior to their Sept. 27 game against the Cleveland Browns.
Lewis is a former 2000 first-round draft pick who helped the Ravens win a Super Bowl title with a win over the New York Giants during his rookie season when he was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He’s the Ravens’ all-time leading rusher with 7,801 yards.
The Atlanta native played collegiately at the University of Tennessee.
Lewis filed for bankruptcy in Georgia last spring.
He’s involved in concussion litigation against the NFL.
Seven years ago, Lewis pleaded guilty to a single federal charge of using a telephone to facilitate a cocaine deal rather than go to trial on more serious drug conspiracy charges. Lewis served time in prison in Pensacola, Fla., during that offseason, also being required to live in a halfway house for a short time after his release.