Ray Lewis And Marvin R. Shanken

Ray Lewis & Marvin R. Shanken

*The October issue of Cigar Aficionado Magazine features a conversation with two-time Super Bowl winner Ray Lewis, who opens up about his poor beginnings as well as his arrest and subsequent acquittal for double murder.

The issue hits newsstands Aug. 30, below are excerpts from the article:

On turning to football, a result of seeing his mother through rough relationships: “Ten years old, I made up my mind: that last altercation … was that. My mom would never be touched again.”

On the high of his life: “The high in my life has always been my mom. To see her endure. When I was 10 years old, I tugged on her dress and I said, ‘One of these days, you’re never going to have to work another day in your life.’ And I meant that. … The happiest moment of my life was when I called my mom and said, ‘I got a college scholarship.’ ”

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On being accused of a double murder: “Every moment in life is intentional. What I had to go through individually, as a person, not only prepared me for a journey that I couldn’t predict, but it prepared me to go through one of the most controversial seasons in my life.”

On treatment while in jail: “For like the first seven, eight days I never ate anything outside of orange halves. If you saw the moldy bologna and things that they were trying to … I was not an animal. And I was not going to succumb to that. So every day [my friend] would bring me a bunch of orange halves. He snuck them in for me. … What happened to me, those 15 days, I will live for the rest of my life. And I’m OK with that.”

On forgiving Paul Howard, the DA who tried to destroy his life: “I forgive him. Because my duty as a child of God is to forgive and keep moving. I pray for them. When I saw what was happening and when I saw what happened, I gave up trying to be liked. And with those guys, their names are in my Bibles, that hopefully God blesses them.”

On his commitment to combatting race relations and police brutality in cases like Freddie Gray’s: “I’m on the ground now. I won’t stop. …There’s a war that Jim Brown, Ali, that all those guys passed down to me. Why? Because I think everybody in the streets, everybody knows who I’m for, what I’m for and what I stand for. I hold these conversations at my house to enlighten people on life. Marv [speaking to Shanken], I do more for people in broken neighborhoods than probably anybody you’ll know. And you won’t find one camera.”

On his pledge to his kids: “I’ll never leave my kids. Ever. Ever. There’s not one dance recital, one football game—that was my commitment to my family.”