The Baltimore Ravens is a team that is truly entrenched in the community. The team responsible for community relations for the Ravens has done a great job in keeping the Ravens players invested in the community.
Two of the truly influential players in Ravens’ history have spoken out against the riots in Baltimore City.
Ray Lewis has a message for the rioters in Baltimore
I’ve got a message for the rioters in Baltimore. #BaltimoreRiots
Posted by Ray Lewis on Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Few players have done as much for Baltimore and the surrounding area than Torrey Smith. In fact, Smith is still involved with the community only months after he signed with the San Francisco 49ers. Smith was in town to support the Brigance Brigade 5.7K run to raise funds for ALS research and he took to Instagram to share the following message with the violent protesters.
“To all of my brothers and sisters protesting in Baltimore: I applaud you for your effort in raising awareness on the issue of police brutality but violence is not the answer. Destroying your city is not the answer.
“Violent protests have never produced the results that we have wanted. Even the great Martin Luther King, Jr. adjusted his strategy. Keep the power in numbers and organized fashion. I don’t know all of the facts or have the answers but I do know that a family is mourning the death of their child/brother/cousin that could have been prevented. I pray for the family of Freddie Gray during this difficult time and that they get all of the answers they need.
“To the people who view the rioters as ‘animals’ you don’t understand why people are so angry. It has been years and years of the same type of incidents.
“Right or Wrong…. People are fed up and acting out in a way they seem fit. It is all driven by emotion and probably a few people who just wanted to start trouble. Don’t let that take away from the thousands of people who went to protest in a peaceful way.”
Smith also posted a plea for leaders in the community to spark change, “You need leaders that really want to change things and not just show up for the cameras and leave when they roll out.”
Smith also promised to help the city which in his words; “went from a peaceful protest to damn near a war which isn’t going to do anything but delay progress.”
Ray Lewis is considered by many as the single greatest leader in the history of all sports. There aren’t many men who can tap into the inner spirit of people the way that he can. Lewis has vowed to always be involved in the Baltimore community. He posted a video on Facebook that should hit home for all people involved. Here is his message:
“No way, No way this can happen in our city. No. Young kids, you have to understand something…get off the streets. Violence is not the answer. It has never been the answer. Freddie Gray, we don’t do nothing for him doing this. We know there’s a deeper issue. We know what the jungle looks like but this isn’t it. There’s enough of us in the streets trying to change what’s going on.
Baltimore, get off the streets. Kids, stay home, GO HOME. You don’t have the right to do what you are doing to this city. Too many hard working people built this city. We put this city together, put it on our back. We are with you. We know that there are problems, we know that there was wrong done. We know we aren’t getting justice, we know we are not getting the answers but riding in our streets in wrong, DEAD WRONG.
We have to go back to the beginning; it takes a village to raise one child. We have to redefine what this looks like. We have to redefine what building Baltimore looks like. There’s too many people putting real sweat, real tears to make our city a better place. I can’t come back home and this is it, kids can’t walk the street? This is our future. Our future is in Baltimore. What we are trying to build is in Baltimore.
There’s too many babies paying attention to this craziness. The sad part is that we have young kids telling us how they’re going to dictate our city. THAT WON”T HAPPEN. We must change this right now. Stop the violence. GO HOME. I am telling you, go home. Whatever I have to do, it won’t happen on our clock.”
Lewis truly meant what he said about doing what he had to do. He has chosen not to go to Chicago to cover the NFL Draft for ESPN, his current employer. Instead, Lewis is going to hit the streets of Baltimore to help the city push through these troubled times.