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Ray Lewis Shares Brutally Honest Thoughts On The NFL

A solo shot of Ray Lewis.

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 02: ESPN personality Ray Lewis watches warmups before the game between the Carolina Panthers and the Indianapolis Colts at Bank of America Stadium on November 2, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Ray Lewis is one of the biggest stars in recent National Football League history, but he isn't thrilled with where the game is going.

The longtime Baltimore Ravens superstar played in the league from 1996-2012. Lewis, 45, won two Super Bowls with the Ravens. He was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, a seven-time first-team All-Pro and a 13-time Pro Bowler.

Lewis, who starred collegiately at Miami, was named to the NFL's 2000s All-Decades team and the NFL's 100th Anniversary All-Time team.

The former Ravens star is not afraid to speak his mind and he did just that this week while discussing the state of the NFL.

"It's a league that makes it hard to watch from a defensive player. The art of why the game started, you know, tackling, you know, the big hit, the change in the course of a game, changing the way players from the offensive side think about the defensive side when you got to attack Dick Butkus or Mike Singletary," Lewis told Fox News, adding "the essence of the game is leaving."

Lewis admitted that he had to stop watching Super Bowl LV because of how many penalties there were. He also says that he's not happy with the lack of loyalty among fans.

"You can't go nowhere and that's not the conversation," said Lewis, who believes fantasy football and gambling are more important to many fans than team loyalty.

"The only thing to me ... that's saving the game or making the game, you know, the ratings, so high is fantasy, right? The gambling. Like there's no loyalty in sports. The game used to be about loyalty. If you're a Ravens fan, you’re a Ravens fan."

Lewis retired from the National Football League in 2013 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.