BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Former Raven Ray Lewis spoke on the Scott Garceau Show on Tuesday evening on 105.7 The Fan.
Lewis spoke to Scott and Jeremy Conn about his decision to kneel during the national anthem at the London game on Sunday.
Lewis says he sees himself as a big brother to Ravens players, who have had various reactions to President Trump’s comments and suggestions that those who kneel be fired from the NFL.
Lewis, however, pointed out that he had been on both knees during the protest.
“You can protest, I’m gonna pray.”
Lewis speaking with emotion during the interview says he was conflicted with what do on Sunday.
“I took two knees because I have a first amendment right just like everybody else. And when I came out of that locker room, I had choice to make,” he says.
“And look at my fellow players and I looked at these young guys. I’m not in the protesting business, I’m not into this, whatever Trump wanna say. I’m not into that mess, but if these young boys doing what they doing, then I got to meet them where they are.”
Former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick first came into the spotlight for kneeling during the national anthem last August in order to raise issue to social injustices he saw against black people and people of color in the U.S.
“I’m not in the league anymore, so the Trump comments don’t bother me, but they’re so out of order,” says Lewis.
“You’re just talking about kids, you’re talking about the kids who got mothers, mothers who sacrificed everything and families who sacrificed everything, and now you don’t give us no platform to say nothing on — it just baffles me that he would come out and say something like that.”
Lewis says he felt compelled to stand by his teammates.
“I would never protest against my flag. It’s just me. I do too much for my country, I do too much for my city, I’ve invested my life into making people around me better, and the people less fortunate than me.”
“If we do not get back to just respecting humanity again and what the laws are, and just respecting each other,” he says.
Many fans have been upset by the teams’ actions, especially Lewis. Thousands of fans have signed an online petition to have Lewis’ statue outside of M&T Bank Stadium removed.
Lewis says this petition does not bother him.
“It only bothers me if I blatantly did something to gain awareness for myself. What I did — is for our country. That’s why I challenge people.”