As a fight to end racism is waged on the streets of cities across America, the Raiders under Mark Davis have failed to live up to Al Davis’ legacy on the issue.
Al Davis was known for breaking barriers in the NFL when it came to race and gender.
In his short time as an owner, Mark Davis has not only failed to live up to his father’s legacy, he has taken the franchise backwards.
The first sign that Mark would fail to maintain the legacy of a progressive and forward thinking organization was when he hired Brent Musburger to replace Greg Papa.
I wrote about this when he was hired, but for those who don’t know, Musburger is a man who used his substantial power and platform to condemn two of this country’s most famous political activists: Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
When these two brave men made the black power gesture on the Olympic medal stand, they paid a price for it. Both have talked about how badly they were blackballed in the sporting world. And among those who contributed to them being blackballed? Brent Musburger.
When it happened, Musburger wrote a piece condemning these two heroes, calling them names and referring to them as “black faced storm troopers.” To this day, he has never retracted nor apologized for that piece.
This is what John Carlos has to say about Musburger:
We are talking about someone who compared us to Nazis. Think about that. Here we are standing up to apartheid and to a man in Avery Brundage who delivered the Olympics to Hitler’s Germany. And here’s Musburger calling us Nazis. That got around. It followed us. It hurt us. It hurt my wife, my kids. I’ve never been able to confront him about why he did this. Every time I’ve been at a function or an event with Brent Musburger and I walk towards him, he heads the other way.
And when Colin Kapernick helped lead a protest movement in the NFL, Musgburger once again showed his true colors, going after the 49ers on Twitter for allowing the protest to happen.
Fast foward to today and the country is still suffering at the hands of continued and unchecked racism.
Despite failing his father’s legacy by hiring a piece of trash like Musburger, Mark Davis had a chance to redeem himself. He had a chance to bring the Raiders back on to the right side of things when it comes to race relations in the NFL.
And like Tom Brady in the snow, Mark Davis fumbled.
The Raiders released what was no better than a PR stunt with Mark Davis’s message regarding the murder of George Floyd:
Mark couldn’t even get himself to reference race. He couldn’t be bothered to show solidarity with the black community and acknowledge that black lives matter.
But he had no problem signaling to white people angry about the protests that he supports their disdain for the property damage that has resulted.
As black people are being murdered by those who are charged with protecting them, Mark Davis made sure he noted the importance of damaged property, placing it in the same statement and giving it the same level of importance as his sympathy for how George Floyd was murdered.
Then the Raiders made it worse with this tweet:
I’m not saying they can’t mourn the loss of this life. Every loss of life should be mourned. But it is beyond problematic that the Raiders acted IMMEDIATELY upon hearing this news but it took SIX DAYS after Floyd was murdered for them to be bothered with releasing a statement.
Mark Davis had an opportunity. He could have taken the Raiders back to their rightful spot as a franchise that stands for ending racism and moving race relations forward.
Instead, Davis chose to go with a weak statement, likely because he did not want to risk losing money of white fans who would be angered by an ACTUAL stand against racism.
So from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to offer a giant FUCK YOU to Mark Davis.