Can Ray Lewis help end the lockout?

May, 23, 2011
5/23/11
1:00
PM ET
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is one of the most influential players in the NFL. But until his recent interview with ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, Lewis had not commented publicly on the league's work stoppage.

[+] EnlargeRay Lewis
AP Photo/Amy SancettaRay Lewis' motivational skills may be just what is needed to move labor talks forward.
Lewis has a unique perspective on the troubles between the NFL and NFLPA. He believes huge egos from both sides are getting in the way and crime could rise in our country if a full season is lost.

"Do this research if we don't have a season," Lewis told Paolantonio. "Watch how much evil -- which we call it crime -- watch how much crime picks up if you take away our game."

Lewis has not participated in mediation sessions but said the "time is coming." Could Lewis be the right voice to help end the lockout?

The future Hall of Famer is well-respected on many different levels. Lewis is closely in tune with the players and common fans, while his name and star power also are enough to grab the owners' attention. This might be the proper combination to bring the two sides closer together.

Lewis' intense pre-game speeches to help motivate the Ravens have become famous to football fans. But if Lewis can find a way to motivate the owners and NFLPA to put pride aside and reach a new collective bargaining agreement this summer, it could be Lewis' biggest speech of all.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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