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Archive for January 6th, 2013

It’s not my style to praise thugs and possible murderers:

On the day Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis announced he would be retiring after this season, my thoughts drifted back to a bitterly cold winter day in a cemetery in Akron, Ohio.

That’s where Richard Lollar was buried and where his bespectacled grandmother, Joyce Lollar, showed me his grave more than a decade ago.

As I wrote then, she crunched through the snow with leafless trees etched against a gray Midwestern skyline. A frozen drizzle fell from above. With her shoe, she scraped the snow and the ice and the dirt from her grandson’s grave site and said a short prayer that ended with: “We miss you, Richard. We love you.”

(…)

Joyce raised Richard Lollar, who was left dead in the street in the early morning hours on Jan. 31, 2000, — a few hours after the Rams defeated the Titans in one of the most thrilling Super Bowls in history. And then came one of the most chilling post-Super Bowl scenes in history. A brawl outside the Cobalt Lounge, an upscale Atlanta nightclub, turned into gory spectacle of steely knives, mangled flesh and a river of blood. The 24-year-old Lollar and his 21-year-old boyhood buddy from Akron, Jacinth Baker, were both stabbed multiple times in the heart, the knives savagely twisted into their vital organs. The killers knew exactly what they were doing.

Lewis, his two good friends — Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting — and nine others sped away from the crime scene in a 40-foot Lincoln limousine. Lewis, Oakley and Sweeting were charged with the killings and cleared in a controversial court decision that still leaves many questions unanswered.

At the very least, Lewis knows what happened that night. Until he comes clean and owns up to his part, he can go to Hell.

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