QVerity Opinion: Ray Lewis Persists in Untruthful Response to Banned Substance Allegation
QVerity has analyzed the remarks made at a press conference on Wednesday by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in response to the allegation that he used the banned substance IGF-1. The analysis reinforces the conclusion we drew following his comments the day before that Lewis, in our opinion, is being untruthful in addressing the allegation.
Lewis was widely perceived to have strongly denied the allegation at the Media Day event on Tuesday, as demonstrated by the reporter who asked Lewis the question at the Wednesday press conference:
“Ray, you issued a strong denial yesterday about the story in Sports Illustrated. What can you add to that? Is there anything else you’d like to say about that? The gentleman that made the comments said that he had contact with you on more than one occasion, ’09, ’11, and this year. Thank you.”
In fact, as we pointed out in our previous analysis, Lewis did not deny the allegation, strongly or otherwise. That failure to deny was one indicator in a large cluster of deceptive behaviors that we outlined in our analysis. With that understood, here is Lewis’s full response to the reporter’s question:
[Laughs] I think, honestly, and I’m going to say it very clearly again, I think it’s probably one of the most embarrassing things that we can do on this type of stage. I think it takes totally away from, you give somebody the ability to come into our world. You know, our world is a very secret society, and we try to protect our world as much as we can. But when you let cowards come in and do things like that, you know, to try to disturb something, I’ve said it before, I said it a million times [laughs], and the reason why I’m smiling is because it’s so funny of a story, because I’ve never, ever took what he says whatever I was supposed to do. And it’s just sad, once again, that someone can have this much attention on a stage this big, where the dreams are really real—they’re really real. And I don’t need it, my teammates don’t need it, the 49ers don’t need it, nobody needs it, because it just really shows you how people really plan things and try to attack people from the outside. And it’s just foolish. It’s very foolish, and the guy has no credibility. He’s been sued four or five times over this same BS. And just to entertain it, I can’t, I won’t, and I just truly believe he doesn’t have the privilege for me to speak about it ever again.
Following are the deceptive behaviors we identified in Lewis’s response:
Inappropriate level of concern: Lewis’s laughter before and during his response to the question displayed an inappropriate level of concern. Smiling or laughing in response to a question that has serious consequences is a deceptive behavior made in an attempt to diminish the perceived importance of the matter at hand.
Perception qualifier: The word “honestly” in the first sentence of Lewis’s response is a perception qualifier, a deceptive verbal behavior that is employed to enhance credibility.
Referral statements: “I’m going to say it very clearly again … I’ve said it before, I said it a million times … And it’s just sad, once again …”
A referral statement is a deceptive behavior that is employed to enhance credibility by means of an inference to repetition. The idea here is that the more frequently a statement is repeated, the more likely we are to be open to its credibility.
Attack behavior: “But when you let cowards come in and do things like that, you know, to try to disturb something … it just really shows you how people really plan things and try to attack people from the outside. And it’s just foolish. It’s very foolish, and the guy has no credibility. He’s been sued four or five times over this same BS.”
When the truth isn’t a person’s ally and he’s backed into a corner, especially when the matter at hand has potentially serious consequences, he often resorts to attacking his questioner or accuser. Lewis’s attack behavior in this case was even more intense than it was in his Tuesday response, apparently because it was aimed directly at Mitch Ross, the individual who claimed to have supplied the banned substance to Lewis.
Convincing statements: “And it’s just sad, once again, that someone can have this much attention on a stage this big, where the dreams are really real—they’re really real. And I don’t need it, my teammates don’t need it, the 49ers don’t need it, nobody needs it.”
Convincing statements are statements an individual makes to influence his audience’s perception of him. They are intended to convince us of something, rather than to convey information that gets to the truth of the matter at hand. Here, Lewis appears to be attempting to garner sympathy because his big Super Bowl dream is being spoiled.
Isolated delivery of denial, non-specific denial: “I’ve never, ever took what he says whatever I was supposed to do.”
Aside from a failure to deny, a deceptive behavior that Lewis exhibited in his Tuesday response, two other types of denial problems are an isolated delivery of denial and a non-specific denial. In this case, we have an isolated delivery of a non-specific denial. Burying the denial in a long-winded answer, and making it non-specific, make it much easier psychologically for a deceptive person to convey.
Unintended messages: By focusing on the literal meaning of what a person says, we can spot unintended messages, which are conveyed without the person even realizing it. There were several examples in this response:
- “I think it’s probably one of the most embarrassing things that we can do on this type of stage.” The unintended message here is likely that Lewis finds the banned substance allegation personally embarrassing because, in our opinion, the allegation is true, and it’s getting so much attention under the spotlight of the Super Bowl, the final game of his NFL career.
- “Our world is a very secret society, and we try to protect our world as much as we can.” Here, the unintended message is likely that Lewis has secrets (including, in our opinion, that he did take the banned substance), and that he’s doing his best to keep those secrets.
- “And just to entertain it, I can’t.” This is a repeat of a statement that Lewis made in his response on Tuesday, the unintended message of which is, in our opinion, that he can’t say anything that would refute the accusations, because they’re true.