“Just win baby!”, the moniker made famous by Al Davis, the previous owner of the Oakland Raiders. A fierce opponent of racial injustice and discrimination, Davis was the forward-thinking owner the NFL needed.
Davis refused to play in cities or towns that had racial segregation during the 60s’. He hired the first black head coach Art Shell in 1989. Skin color did not matter to him, Al Davis just wanted to win.
Last year, a major subplot in the NFL season was the story of Colin Kaepernick and his protest of police brutality in black neighborhoods. His decision to kneel during the National Anthem has ‘blackballed’ him from the league. Team owners feared that having Kaepernick would cause a backlash from the fans.
Like Father, Like Son?
Nearly seven years after Al Davis’ death, the conversation of racial injustice is still at the forefront.
With Mark Davis (son of Al Davis) the owner of the Raiders, they are moving from Oakland to Las Vegas. The Raiders are in a time of transition. New head coach, a new city, and a multi-billion dollar stadium. This franchise can be a real wildcard in what it can do with this Kaepernick situation.
Jon Gruden after being out of the NFL for a decade will return to the Raiders as head coach. On the ESPN show “Gruden’s QB camp”, he mentions his admiration for the quarterback.
GRUDEN: That shows you what a fool I am. I didn’t invite him to the QB camp. He’s a great athlete. That was a strange offense at Reno. Let’s be honest, that was an offense not a lot of people had ever seen. He was a dual threat, but a lot of the damage that he did, he did with his legs. I did not think he could throw the ball like he’s been throwing it for the last couple years. He’s gotten better. His experience shows. His relationship with Harbaugh on and off the field has accentuated that, and they’ve surrounded him with some pretty good players.
With Kaepernick, Jon Gruden would have one of the best back up quarterbacks in the league. A useful commodity considering Derek Carr, the starting quarterback, has had issues with injuries.
Rooney Rule Mistake
During the hiring process of Jon Gruden, the Raiders might have violated the affirmative action process called the Rooney Rule. By not interviewing any minority coaches, the team broke a rule and can face punishment. Mike Freeman reported that the NFL would let the Raiders break the rule if they sign Kaepernick. Although a rumor, it could be a major incentive to get the quarterback into the league.
Here is the interesting part. I’m told the league office told the Raiders (paraphrasing): we looked out for you on the Rooney rule, now help us by signing Kaepernick, and helping to end the collusion case. 4/
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) January 23, 2018
The NFL fighting a collusion case against Colin Kaepernick, would love for this story to go away. The kneeling for the National Anthem protest has been a PR nightmare for the league. The longer Kaepernick is out of the league, the longer this story will be around.
If any team decides to sign the quarterback, the Raiders seem like the logical option. Al Davis would have approved of it.