I just heard on the news that the NFL owners voted 30 to 1 to accept Mark Davis’s request to move the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas. Obviously the NFL owners did this to bring in more money and media attention to the NFL, the biggest non profit entity in the world. That the city of Oakland has been derived of a football team that could generate some jobs and help local businesses and raise community spirit was not taken into consideration. Nor were the feelings of loyal fans that have supported the team down through the years. We all know people who wear the Raiders jerseys and caps and put stickers on their cars and who put the team on the top place in their minds throughout the year. The Raiders have a big following in the East San Jose community because of the great quarterback, Jim Plunkett, who played his high school football in James Lick High School and who went on to Stanford and was coached by John Madden to win 2 Super Bowls.
He was, and is, a role model for many youth and a hero that young people can look up to and emulate. When I was a young priest in St. John Vianney, I would see him at Midnight Mass. Another point of contact with the Raiders was the coach Tom Flores, one of the few Chicano coaches in the NFL. There were many more connections between following the Raiders and having pride in and loyalty to the local community. All of this has now gone out the window. Fans will be grieving and feel betrayed, the owners will make more money and the NFL will continue as usual. Las Vegas will capitalize on this move; Oakland will lose a source of revenue, unity and pride and prepare for the next foot to drop when the Warriors leave.