And not just because he, a man who beat a murder rap a few years back, Ben Roethlisberger and other NFL stars will be out on the streets with too much time on their hands. He means, because the people who “live through” the NFL will go thug if there teams aren’t playing on Sunday.
Lewis said a lockout would impact more than just NFL players.
“What we’re going through right now, we’re affecting way more than us,” he said. “Too many people live through us. People live through us. Walk in the streets the way I walk in the streets.”
And according to Lewis, one of the major results of lockout would be an increase of evil, which he says will come in the form of more crime.
“Do this research if we don’t have a season — watch how much evil, which we call crime — watch how much crime picks up if you take away our game.”
History doesn’t back Lewis up on this. American fans have experienced several pro sports strikes since the 1980s and there was no corresponding spike in crime. People mostly went about their business, though Major League Baseball did suffer a hangover from its last strike, that has only really gone away in the last two to three seasons.
Imagine if one of the owners had said that. Imagine if Jerry Jones tried drawing the players back to negotiations by warning that street crime will run rampant if the games don’t go on. It’s a good thing Jones is smart enough to not saying anything close to this, and has found another use for his new stadium this August.
On the other hand, maybe Lewis was just making a “bread and circuses” argument for keeping the NFL going. There’s no question that we need some distractions from the unfolding series of disasters that is the Obama presidency.