Ronnie Lott is worried.
Although he was disappointed by the decision, he understands that NFL owners saw a “much bigger” opportunity when they voted, 31-1, to allow the Raiders to make their eventual move from Oakland to Las Vegas.
‘I just don’t want our game to get tarnished’
But the Hall-of-Fame safety, who patrolled the secondary of the Raiders in 1991 and 1992, hopes enough safeguards are in place to maintain a safe distance between the team and the gambling that defines their next home.
“What I’m nervous about is I just don’t want our game to get tarnished,” Lott told Zig Fracassi and Adam Caplan on NFL Rewind. “And what I mean by that is that there are characteristics that allowed all of us to want to play this game at the highest level. And I remember, when I first came in the league, there were certain things that you could not do, and that was you could not have any gaming activities.
‘They gamble all over the world, but there’s professional people that do this for a living every day’
“Being so close to it, knowing that there are professionals that are in that community, it’s going to be very challenging. People say, ‘Ah, Ronnie, that’s all (places).’ But this isn’t Vegas. They gamble all over the world, that’s right, but there’s professional people that do this for a living every day.”
Lott pointed out that Las Vegas sports books won’t take bets before home games involving the University of Nevada Las Vegas football team.
‘Hopefully, we’ll see great football’
“So that tells me that this is a little bigger than me, that there was that kind of authority and somebody’s looking out for the university,” he said. “So that’s what I worry about. Other than that, I think it’s going to be a great opportunity. It’s going to be something that the fans from every team will have the chance to hopefully participate in and be a part of and hopefully, we’ll see great football.”
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