As the reality continues to sink in that the Oakland Raiders are headed for Las Vegas, former players on the team share the emotional pain with long-time fans in the Bay Area.
Howie Long, for one, is heartbroken by the impending move. But he understands it from a business standpoint. Oakland simply hasn’t done what is necessary to keep the Raiders.
‘It’s one of the most unique environments we have in the league’
“I don’t think there’s a player who played in Oakland who would not love to see the Oakland Raiders stay the Oakland Raiders,” the Hall-of-Famer told Bruce Murray and James Lofton on the SiriusXM Blitz. “That fan base, the kind of environment you have there, it’s one of the most unique environments we have in the league.
“Okay, now tell me how you get it done (to keep the Raiders in Oakland). Where’s the stadium? Where’s the money? How do you remain competitive as an organization? And I think what it really comes down to is Oakland — city, county, the powers that be within the political body not being able to come up with — and this is not just the Oakland Raiders’ assessment, this is the assessment of the NFL — there’s been no package presented that gives the Raiders an opportunity (to stay).
‘Mark Davis is a man of his word’
“Let’s say package to go to Vegas is 10 percent better. (Raiders owner) Mark Davis would take Oakland in a heartbeat. But Mark Davis is a man of his word. The one thing you come to realize about Mark Davis is gives you his word on something, he’s going to stand by it. And it’s unfortunate. I think I’m more sad than I am angry. But the organization, in order to be more competitive, like every team in the NFL, has to have a state-of-the-art stadium, the non-shared revenue is there. It’s a big part of where we are today in the NFL.”