ESPN rolled out Ray Lewis to talk Ray Rice tonight, because Lewis had mentored Rice during his time in Baltimore, and presumably also because Lewis was involved in one of the NFL's highest-profile criminal investigations in the past decade. But when Suzy Kolber brought that up, Lewis shut it right down. No, he says, there's no comparison to be drawn between himself and Ray Rice.
Lewis had talked at length earlier about his personal experiences with domestic abuse, but was less convincing on why the Ravens, or anyone else, would view his situation as being in no way comparable to Rice's.
"Steve [Bisciotti, Ravens owner] was saying," Lewis said, "the reason that Ray Rice will never play for the Ravens again is when he saw this video himself, he put his daughter, he put anyone that's connected to him that's a female, he put them in that position. And when you do that, you have to take a step back—when you're an owner, when you're anybody who walks into a room and sees that type of evidence, that you haven't heard before, haven't seen before. And one thing Steve made very clear: There is no comparison of me and Ray Rice. It's night and day. It's night and day of anything we've ever been through."
Look, we don't have to belabor ESPN's forced idea of what a dumb person might think is relevant to the conversation, but this does raise a few questions. Presuming they actually had not seen the video before today, what did Bisciotti and the rest of the Ravens think a punch that knocked a human being out cold looked like? Why would it take video for anyone to imagine that the person on the receiving end of that punch was an actual human being? And what, precisely, separates Rice's case from Lewis's other than the fact that there is video of Rice and there was none of the events surrounding Lewis's arrest, and that Lewis's case was ongoing while the Ravens stood behind him?