In a recent article, TIME named Ray Lewis one of the most influential people in sports. But his story is far more than just a football player’s success. The Baltimore Ravens’ linebacker overcame a father’s abandonment to become one of the most-famous athletes in the world.

Lewis’ father, Raymond, abandoned the family at age 11 so he could pursue his love of music and football. Lewis was raised by his mother and grandmother, who filled his childhood days with chores and strict discipline. As a result, Lewis became a careful, hard-working, and determined kid who made it to the NFL at the age of 29.

Ray Lewis grew up in a family he never knew. His father, a prominent judge in Baltimore, left his family when Ray was just 11 months old. And the only way he got any love was from his mother, who raised Ray on her own. “When I’m talking about Ray Lewis, I’m talking about a man that I knew as a kid,” said former Baltimore Ravens teammate, Derrick Mason, who played with Lewis for nine years. “A lot of times you have to take an adversarial role with people you’re with, and for Ray, he was a young man that he had to take that adversarial role with his father.”

Ray Lewis’ impassioned words and passionate cries defined him more than any bone-crunching tackle he made at the line of scrimmage for the Baltimore Ravens.

Lewis, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018, was one of the most intense football players in recent memory. Lewis doubts he would have made it to the NFL if it hadn’t been for a sad and turbulent upbringing.

Ray Lewis utilized his adversity as motivation to make it to the NFL.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in 2011.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in 2011. Ray Lewis attributed his success to a tough upbringing | Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images Ray Lewis attributed his success to a difficult childhood.

Lewis isn’t one to let the past die, especially since so much of it shaped him into the man he is today.

Lewis and Marvin Shanken, the magazine’s publisher, addressed a 2012 lecture the Hall of Fame linebacker gave at Harvard University in a 2016 interview with Cigar Aficionado.

During one of his interactions with the legal students at the institution, Lewis reminisced on his path to the NFL. Elbert Ray Jackson, Lewis’ father, abandoned his mother soon after Lewis was born, according to Lewis’ speech. He said that his mother had been mistreated in many relationships, and that her children were aware of it.

“And a lot of people always look at me and say, ‘Man, how did you get to be such a fantastic football player?’ I wasn’t motivated by football. What motivated me was the need to ensure that a man would never touch my mother again.”

Ray Lewis

Four years later, when he talked with Shanken, he stated he doesn’t look back on his life and wonder what might have been.

Lewis told Shanken, “I tell people all the time that if there was anything to alter, I wouldn’t change anything.” “Because it was that which pushed me. When I look at my kids or athletes, I get a burning sensation in the pit of my stomach.”

Lewis has utilized his adversity to assist those in need.

Lewis has shared his life with the public rather than keeping it bottled up or storing it for a tell-all book.

Lewis told Cigar Aficionado in the same interview that his mother sent him to Florida with $20 in food stamps because he wanted to live there. He was a standout linebacker at Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Florida, and went on to play college football at the University of Miami.

Lewis also recognizes that he and his family are not alone in their struggles. He established the L2 Family Foundation, which assists single parents in taking the first steps toward buying a house. 

Lewis has discussed his mother’s financial difficulties in a number of interviews over the years. The Power52 Foundation works with Baltimore residents to prepare them for employment in the renewable energy industry.

Lewis got the chance to see several of his children play football in the years after he retired from the NFL.

Ray III, his eldest son, played at the University of Miami and Coastal Carolina University for a short time. Rayshad and Rahsaan, two additional sons, played together at Kentucky in 2020.

Rayshad started his career as a freshman receiver at Utah State, where he had 40 receptions for 476 yards and two scores. Later, he moved to Maryland, where he was a receiver and a cornerback.

Rahsaan started his football career at the University of Central Florida as a cornerback. Despite switching to receiver for the 2019 season, he mainly played special teams for an Owls team that won its second Conference USA championship in three seasons.

In 2020, Rahsaan did not see any snaps at Kentucky. Even if he doesn’t make the starting lineup for the Wildcats this season, he can count on his father’s support. Ray Lewis is doing for his family what his own father never did: being present and involved.

On Facebook, follow Sportscasting. @sportscasting19 is our Twitter handle.

Ray Lewis may have been able to play for Florida State if the Seminoles’ coaching staff hadn’t offended him.

Ray Lewis is a three-time Super Bowl champion and the NFL’s all-time leading sacker, but what he is most known for is his father’s life-altering decision to abandon him and his younger brother when they were growing up. This may have left an indelible mark on Lewis, who continued to play football with a burning desire to succeed. According to colleagues, Lewis is currently pursuing a degree in sociology at his alma mater, the University of Maryland.. Read more about ray lewis wife and let us know what you think.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • ray lewis wife
  • ray lewis mom
  • ray lewis
  • ray lewis height
  • ray lewis children
You May Also Like

Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne Reveals Bill Belichick’s Unique Message to Him

New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne recently revealed his relationship with…

What NFL Records Does Russell Wilson Hold?

Russell Wilson is one of the most prolific quarterbacks in recent NFL…

Mark Cuban Claimed Shaquille O’Neal Used to Call Him ‘All the Time’ About Forming the Best Frontcourt in NBA History: ‘Come and Get Me’

The NBA legend and entrepreneur has been known to be a bit…

The Highest-Paid Player on the Philadelphia 76ers Surprisingly Isn’t Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid

Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have been two of the most talented…