When the Ravens visited the White House as the Super Bowl XLVII champions 14 months ago, President Barack Obama announced that the franchise would donate new sports uniforms to every high school in Baltimore.
That promise came true Wednesday afternoon.
Through a partnership with Under Armour, the two local organizations unveiled uniforms they are donating to all Baltimore City high school football and girls' basketball teams. The unveiling ceremony took place at Under Armour's campus in downtown Baltimore, and former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis attended.
The Ravens and Under Armour partnered together to donate new sports uniforms to every high school in Baltimore.
"I'm proud to represent Baltimore," Lewis said to the group of high school students and coaches in the audience.
"Whether you guys know it, you are our future. The next president, the next superstar, is sitting in these seats. Take these uniforms and understand what they're for. They're for the next generation. Wear them with pride, but don't cheat them. Don't cheat them because every time you put them on, you represent something way greater than you – Baltimore, family, love, loyalty, respect."
Every school received new home and away uniforms, which they will begin wearing this school year. The uniforms are unique to each school, but the one consistent part of the design is that they feature the Under Armour logo and a small Ravens logo on the front.
As part of Wednesday's event, each school selected a member of its football and basketball team to model the jersey for the unveiling and meet Lewis. In addition to Lewis, Baltimore Schools Superintendent Gregory Thorton and Under Armour Sr. Vice President of Global Marketing Matt Murchin both spoke during the ceremony.
"When you wear an Under Armour uniform, you're not just representing your high school, you're also representing the Ravens, and you're representing Under Armour," Thorton said. "Not only are you going to make your school proud, your parents proud, you're going to make your entire community proud."
The uniform unveiling was the second local public event Lewis has attended recently, as he also watched the Ravens' practice at M&T Bank Stadium last week. Lewis has maintained a special connection with the city after retiring* *in 2013 following the Super Bowl XLVII victory.
"I wish a lot of other athletes would really understand that [connection]," Lewis said. "Sometimes when God gives a certain territory, a certain land, that's for you. Years ago in 1996 when I was introduced to this city, it became mine instantly. We become one with each other. To be connected to it is kind of easy because it's who I am and it's who Baltimore is."