Jamal Lewis, a running back who spent seven years with the Ravens, didn’t actually play on the 2012 Super Bowl winning team–but he got a Super Bowl ring anyway, when he was inducted into the team’s “ring of honor” in 2012. And on Sunday, Lewis sold that ring at auction for more than $50,000.
Lewis, who set all sorts of records when he played in high school, college, and in the pros, does not have a happy post-NFL story. In 2011, he and a group of other ex-players sued the NFL for failing to protect them from football-related brain injury. One year later, he filed for bankruptcy. At the time, the Baltimore Sun noted:
…besides the Super Bowl ring, fur and five Atlanta homes noted in the Sun’s story about his financial predicament, Lewis also claimed ownership of a 47-foot powerboat worth an estimated $200,000, a 2005 Ford F-650 XUV ($150,000 — the “X” is for “Xtreme”), a 2009 Mercedes CL63 ($80,950) and a 2008 Mercedes GL550 ($47,400).
Basically, Lewis left the NFL with a taste for the high life and a possible brain injury; like many other NFL players, he didn’t have many other skills to fall back on (unless they’re Torrey Smith, that is). Yeah, it’s hard to feel sorry for a guy with three cars worth more than I make in a year, but Lewis actually makes a strong case for the argument that NFL players need better medical care and better financial advice–since they can’t necessarily trust the league to provide it to them.
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