Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens star who is retiring after Super Bowl Sunday win or lose, reportedly made no donations out of his own pocket to his self-named charity.
The Ray Lewis Family Foundation website states in part as follows:
“Since the beginning of his career, Ray Lewis, Linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens and future Hall of Famer, has maintained a steady practice of community involvement, family strengthening and charitable giving in Baltimore, Maryland.”
The reality, however, is different according to a report in the New York Post:
“Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis — who earned $7.2 million in 2011 — couldn’t spare a dime of it for his own charity, The Post has learned. Lewis, who is playing his last game in tonight’s Super Bowl, set up two charities to polish his image after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice in 2000 in connection with a double homicide in Atlanta that year.
“He started the Ray Lewis Foundation in 2002, but the group lost its IRS tax-exempt status because it failed to file tax returns for three years.”
“He opened the similarly named Ray Lewis Family Foundation in 2010.”
The Post claims Walmart and other businesses coughed up most of the cash for the Ray Lewis charitable organization.
According to the Bleacher Report,
“The Ray Lewis Foundation… has been responsible for numerous improvements and advances to the lives of underprivileged and at-risk youths in the Baltimore area. In 2010, a part of Baltimore’s North Avenue was renamed Ray Lewis Way in honor of his charitable work.”
It this report that Ray Lewis did not contribute to his own charity is valid, it wouldn’t be the first time that an athlete lends his name — but nothing else aside from showing up at charitable events — to a nonprofit venture.
Would it surprise you if it turns out that Ray Lewis gave zero donations to his own charity?