Former pro football linebacker Ray Lewis was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame this week.
During his 17 year NFL career Lewis accounted for 1,573 tackles and 500 assists. Combining the solo tackles and assists, Lewis would finish with 2,073 tackles, which is unofficially the third-most tackles in NFL history (the NFL didn’t keep track of tackles as a statistic until 2001).
Lewis forced 19 fumbles in his career, but he also was able to recover a fumble 20 times.
He showed the same kind of endurance in his 33-minute Hall of Fame speech in which he often spoke about his faith.
Here are a few of his quotes.
On his signature dance when leaving the tunnel from the locker room:
“People always talked about my dancing, right, and they always liked to see Sugar hit that thing… But, you know, when I found out, seriously though, as I started going—and [Coach John Harbaugh], you remember this, the conversation we had—because I didn’t want the light to necessarily be on me, because it wasn’t really about me… So when I started coming out of the tunnel I really wanted to start to honor God. So it was funny, right, because when I went to the right, right, it was for the Father; when I came to the left it was for the Son; when I came back for the middle it was for the Holy Father and Son, all in one.”
The role pastors played in replacing his absent father:
“My relationship with pastors is so vibrant, it’s amazing. And they have guided me throughout my life and continue to guide me to this day. I have to thank every pastor that has been in my life, and has prayed for my life, and is still in my life.”
His conviction for obstruction of justice in the deaths of two people:
“1999 to 2001 may have been some of the darkest moments of my life. But I’ll tell you something: When God says ‘can you hear me now?’ he sends you a family to make sure you’re okay while you’re going through what you’re going through.”
On prayer in schools and sex trafficking:
“I want us to work together, to really take on these challenges. To look at our goals, at what unites us. Surely there’s something! How about stopping our kids from dying in school? Can we please put prayer back in school? Please!… How about protecting our children from a terrifying life of being sex-trafficked?”
His desire that athletes will become a source for healing, not division:
“In the next 30 days I want you to think about why you get up in the morning. What is most important to you in this life? Are you living every day to make this world better?”
“One of the greatest gifts my mama ever gave me was the Bible. The Bible made me who I am today. Ephesians 3:20 says, ‘Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above, far beyond anything you can ask, think or imagine according to the power that is working within you.’”