NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick to fill-in for Lewis on ESPN’s Round 1 telecast Thursday Night
ESPN analyst Ray Lewis, the two-time Super Bowl champion who played his entire 17-year NFL career in Baltimore with the Ravens, will remain at home in Maryland rather than work the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago for ESPN. Instead, Lewis will continue his efforts to help stop the violence in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal cord injury in police custody. Earlier today, Lewis released a video on his Facebook page – an impassioned plea for protestors in Baltimore.
Statement from Ray Lewis:
“I felt that it was more important for me to stay in Baltimore and try to help the city I love. I greatly appreciate ESPN’s understanding and flexibility at this late date. I did not feel right leaving the city at this time.”
ESPN Front Office Insider Louis Riddick, whose NFL front office experience spans more than a decade as a pro scout and director of pro personnel, will replace Lewis on ESPN’s Thursday night telecast of round 1, alongside Chris Berman, Jon Gruden and Mel Kiper, Jr.
ESPN senior coordinating producer Seth Markman:
“Few athletes are as connected to a city as Ray is to Baltimore, having played his entire career there and based on all the work he has done in that community. While we will miss him at the draft, we completely support him in this decision and we hope his involvement will help resolve the situation there.
“Louis, who was already scheduled to be at the NFL Draft, is one of our most knowledgeable and respected NFL Insiders. He will be a great addition to our main set on Thursday night.”