(Photograph: Reuters/ Joe Giza)
Ray Lewis, 37-year-old Baltimore Ravens Christian linebacker who recently revealed his plans for retirement after the postseason, glorified God after his big win against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday that advanced his team in the playoffs.
Although Lewis recently made it clear that this would be his last NFL season, many questioned how deep his team would make it in his last playoff season. After the Ravens 24-9 win over the Colts in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, Lewis pulled off his jersey to reveal a sleeveless black shirt that read "Psalms 91."
During his postgame press conference, Lewis made sure to glorify God repeatedly when answering questions about his career and recent win.
"I'll tell anybody. One thing about God's will, you can never see God's will before it happens," Lewis told a room full of media personnel after his game. "You can only see at the end of it. For His will to happen this way, I could never ask for anything else."
Last week, the linebacker who has played his entire career with the Ravens announced that he would retire because God was calling him to spend more time with his children. While Lewis has been healing a torn right tricep since October, he gave God the glory after returning to the football field to face the Colts Sunday without any major pain to his arm.
"Once again, God to all glory because I didn't feel one pain (sic). I didn't hurt it one time," the future Hall-of-famer said. "For me to come out and not have a bruise, not tweak it, not do anything like that it's just really awesome."
Many NFL fans took to Twitter to comment about Lewis' propensity to glorify God in his postgame interview.
"Awesome to hear Ray Lewis praising God in his postgame speech. #AllGloryToGod #Psalm91," one person tweeted.
However, others questioned Lewis giving God by saying "Hallelujah, Hallelujah, God is everything. God is everything" close to 13 years after he was indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges in 2000. Although Lewis was later acquitted of the charges, some NFL fans found it hard to forget his past.
"I'm tired of ESPN making Ray Lewis out to be a god," one person tweeted. "He plays football... Remember when he killed a guy?"
Still, some people defended Lewis' faith despite his past controversy.
"Ray Lewis (is) a man who showed people that things can change if [you] put God first," the person tweeted. "From double homicide to motivational speaker and life coach."
In his postgame press conference, Lewis let people know that he put his all into football to motivate fans.
"If my effort can give you hope, faith and love then so be it and today was about me giving everything I got. No matter the circumstances that you may be going through, just push through it," Lewis said. "If you can push through it, you'll encourage somebody. Today, hopefully somebody was uplifted."
While Lewis said he is prepared for God's will to bring an end to his football career at any moment, the 13-time Pro Bowler admitted that his team was going to plan for a win against the Denver Broncos next week.
"Whenever it stops is whenever it stops but ultimately God's will is God's will," Lewis said. "As men, we made a commitment to each other and that is next week head to Denver to get a win."