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Lewis: 'Watch how much crime picks up' if lockout continues

Ray Lewis hasn't been in the headlines during the longest work stoppage in NFL history, but that doesn't mean the man is without an opinion.

The longtime Baltimore Ravens linebacker said in an interview with ESPN that he believes the consequences of a lingering lockout will be negative and far-reaching.

"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," Lewis said.

When asked why crime would increase, the 12-time Pro Bowl player said "there's nothing else to do."

It's unclear if Lewis was referencing crime perpetrated by NFL players or by people in general. Thirteen players have been arrested on various charges since the work stoppage officially began March 12, the most recent being Chicago Bears running back Garrett Wolfe, who faces multiple charges after he was arrested in Miami early Sunday morning.

Lewis spoke passionately about the lockout and believes the work stoppage comes down to egos that need to be checked.

"It's simple, we really got to remove pride. Seriously," he said.

"There's no other reason the issue is going on," he added. "That's why I don't get into words and all that other stuff, because it takes away from life ... itself. There's people who are really struggling for real. There's real struggles out there."

Lewis said he knows the lockout isn't something that affects just players, coaches and management.

"There's too many people that live through us, people live through us," he said, referring to stadium workers, fans and other people tied to the league. "Yeah, walk in the streets, the way I walk the streets, and I'm not talking about the people you see all the time."

Lewis said he has texted DeMaurice Smith, telling the NFL Players Association head that he'd speak out under the right circumstances. Asked to elaborate, Lewis hinted his voice might soon be heard.

Lewis hasn't attended any of the mediation sessions or legal proceedings, but he left that door open.

"I'm not opposed to it," he said.

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