Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis said he did his trademark late-game dance on Sunday to honor “my time and my city,” not out of disrespect to the Indianapolis Colts.
Lewis’ response came a day after Colts veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne told WNDE-AM in Indianapolis that he saw the dance, which occurred after the final kneel down of the Ravens’ 24-9 victory at M&T Bank Stadium, as “disrespectful.” It was Lewis’ final home game after playing 17 seasons in Baltimore.
"Listen man, it wasn’t about them at that time,” Lewis said. “That was about capping off a heck of a legacy for 17 years. I guess the trot around the field was disrespectful, too? No. It wasn’t even about them. The game was over. I didn’t go over to their sideline and make some big issue about that. I’ve never been that type of player but [I did it] to salute my city, knowing that people love to see that. And not just people, my teammates were the ones that encouraged me the most. They were saying, ‘Just go out and give it to us one more time knowing that this will be the last time you do it in Ravens’ stadium.’”
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Lewis said that he was made aware of Wayne’s comments by teammate Ray Rice. He also said that he didn’t hold against Wayne, who like Lewis, played his college ball at Miami. Wayne and Ravens safety Ed Reed were teammates and roommates at Miami.
"I don’t take it in a bad way. Of course, after a loss, everybody is bitter. I’ve felt the same way many times,” Lewis said. “I love Reggie to death. Reggie will tell you how much I love him. It was never anything personal with him and the Colts. I text [Colts head coach Chuck Pagano] immediately after the game and told me how much I care for him, how much I love him. It wasn’t even about them. It was about me honoring my time and honoring my city.”