Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dear Roger Goodell, Stop Turning A Blind Eye And Suspend Ray Lewis

by Jayden Matthews

The Super bowl is upon us and it has been every Steelers fans nightmare the Ravens are in the big dance. Congrats to them for making it again finally after a 12-year absence. Now, most of the attention has been focused on Ray Lewis this week and this being his last ride. No one was surprised about it because he announced before the Ravens started the playoffs that it would be. But that is not the only thing that has him at the center of attention.

Sports Illustrated broke a story this week that implicates Ray Lewis in using a product known as Deer Antler Spray. What is Deer Antler Spray you ask? It is a spray that is made off the velvet of deer horns that contains high concentrations of IGF-1. The body naturally produces this hormone, but as a person ages the body tends to slow down in its producing of it. The main thing this product does is it helps increase lean muscle, but it also helps promote quicker recovery of overall healthy and natural performance gains. The bad thing about this product is that it is a banned substance on the NFL’S banned substance list. You can read about the benefits here on this link:

The NFL has come out and said that there is no accurate test for this substance and from what I have been reading on this subject the tests are flawed. So the NFL has chosen to turn a blind eye on this matter and not address it any further.

That gets us to our point of this. It is not for us to say whether Lewis did or did not use this product, but the truth usually has a way of coming out regarding things like this. Lewis has vehemently denied these accusations and said he has never tested positives for any banned substance. For the record, so did Lance Armstrong. With others as well it has been found out after the fact that they did in fact use banned substances.

The thing that gets us is that the NFL has chosen not to address this matter further. Seriously, this is the biggest game of the year, and Goodell goes on endlessly about staining the shield. What if, in fact it comes out that Lewis did use this product? What if the Ravens win the Super Bowl? What if Lewis is named MVP? Well, that looks like a lot of staining to me and a huge black eye to boot. Don’t you think?

Oh, but wait, we are talking about cheating here, and we are all well aware of how the Patriots "Spygate" scandal was handled. The funny thing, though, is that the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since then. Goodell may have given them a slap on the wrist for it all, but Karma went ahead and stepped in picked up the slack.

Goodell has been a huge promoter of player safety, so why he is not a big promoter, or at least tolerant, of doping-to-get-back-on-the-field? He has suspended players for helmet-to-helmet hits to promote safety, but turns a blind eye when it comes to cheating. He himself said that all he needs is an accusation, but I guess that only pertains to big name player’s right? But, wait...Lewis is the face of the Ravens. So why is he still being allowed to play in this game? No wonder his approval rating is so low amongst players.

Lewis has come out and said that the accusations are the work of the devil, but S.I. has claimed that they have records of phone conversations between Lewis and Mitch Ross, the founder of Sports With Alternatives to Steroids, who gives the All-Pro linebacker instructions on how to use the spray version of the Deer Antler product (it also comes in pill-form), which is banned by the NFL:

“Spray on my elbow every two hours?” Lewis asked.
No,” Ross said, “under your tongue.” Lewis later tells Ross to “just pile me up and just send me everything you got, because I got to get back on (the field) this week.”

Lewis came out this week and said that is was, again, the work of the devil and tried to deflect attention. No, these look to be solid accusations that were not only made against Lewis, but against accusations towards Alabama and Auburn as well as several others. -

But, again, the NFL and Roger Goodell chose to turn a blind eye. I read a great blog post from a fellow blog writer that I have to share and I agree with his assessment on this of how one sided the NFL is on these things. The Steelers Forum writer Kipper sums it up well in his take on all this. -

If It Ain't Steel is by no means an advocate of Rogers inconsistencies. We have written several articles on his inconsistencies, but now, all this on the biggest week of the NFL? Enough is enough Roger, you need to grow a spine and stop having different set of rules depending on the player of team. You were all over things when Ben Roethlisberger was accused, and made it clear that all you needed was an accusation. You made it clear he would be suspended not matter what the outcome was. Lewis is the face of the Ravens, and I understand that these are just allegations right now, but that is all they were against Big Ben too. That's all they ever were, yet you brought the hammer down on him anyway. Lewis is no different - he needs to feel the hammer as well.

You are sending the wrong message. Period. You're intimating that it is OK to dope and cheat. If the allegations turn out to be untrue, then so be it, but at least address and investigate it. OK, the test is inconclusive, flawed. But, when you have alleged phone conversations, there are ways to find out if the voices are those of the accused and Ross or not. The NFL has an investigation team. Use it! Get on it.

If it’s false, then clear him, but if it’s true, then do not allow him to play. Because the only message you are sending to the younger players in and coming into the NFL is that it is OK to dope, you just better not get falsely accused or caught. But, in choosing to turn a blind eye, you are setting up the NFL to have a big can worms opened from which you may not be able to recover.

You already have a very low approval rating amongst the players and the fans and this is not helping that case. Especially if the Ravens win the Super Bowl and these accusations turn out to be true. You need to make a stand now, not turn a blind eye. Things will be easier to clean up now rather than later, because the truth always comes out. Always. Do the right thing here, Goodell, but NFL fans already know you won’t. The reason? You are making a fortune off of Lewis being in the Super Bowl, so why do the right thing?

Oh, Roger, you've got a little hypocrisy on your chin there...wipe that off.