Ray Lewis spent his entire 17-year career with the Baltimore Ravens, and on Thursday, the franchise honored the legendary linebacker with a statue outside M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens drafted Lewis with the 26th pick in the 1996 NFL draft. He helped lead the team to two Super Bowls and was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXXV. The 13-time Pro Bowler hung up his pads after leading the Ravens to a Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season.
The franchise inducted him into the Ravens' Ring of Honor last season. Now, he will live on forever in the form of a statue outside of the team's stadium.
This is what the Ray Lewis statue looks like pic.twitter.com/rp05jX81mY— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) September 4, 2014
There was a big crowd—which included Lewis' mother—on hand for the unveiling of the statue.
Ray Lewis' mother is also at statue unveiling pic.twitter.com/6k0ZXUhlwZ— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) September 4, 2014
Lewis was joined on stage by members of the organization.
Ray Lewis now on podium with Steve Bisciotti, Dick Cass and Ozzie Newsome.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) September 4, 2014
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti had some very flattering words for his former star player.
Steve Bisciotti: We didn't take this lightly for Johnny Unitas to share this plaza with the greatest defensive player of all time.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 4, 2014
Bisciotti on Ray Lewis: "He truly was a leader who made good men great...We are witnesses to the greatest leader in the history of the NFL."— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 4, 2014
Lewis addressed the crowd after the statue was unveiled.
Ray Lewis: "Stand for something, or else you'll fall for anything." pic.twitter.com/kguUNeJBS2— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 4, 2014
Ray Lewis: "We did it our way. We made sure they started putting in rules for offense!"— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 4, 2014
No ceremony involving Lewis could be complete without him breaking out his signature dance, capping a very special day for him and the Ravens franchise.