Saturday, October 8, 2011
Al Davis created a diverse Raider Nation
By Bill Williamson
It’s fitting that CEO Amy Trask and head coach Hue Jackson are likely to play key roles for the Oakland Raiders as they adjust to working in the wake of Al Davis' death on Saturday.
Davis would surely be proud to see them take his beloved organization to the next level. Davis was always a champion of diversity.
Trask is the first and only woman CEO in the NFL. Jackson is one of seven African-American head coaches currently in the NFL.
Davis, the Jewish kid from Brooklyn, was truly color blind. He made Tom Flores the first Hispanic head coach in the NFL and he made Art Shell the first African-American head coach of the modern era of the NFL.
He had African-American quarterbacks when it was uncommon in the league. Countless African-American players from the Raiders' glory days of the 1970s said they had a comfort level with Davis that they sometimes didn’t feel with other people.
Davis let people be people. “Just Win, Baby” and let’s do it together.
The Raiders are at the forefront of embracing diversity. Numerous people of color hold important positions with the Raiders and the organization often celebrates several ethnic cultures at games each year. They even broadcast radio games in Native American languages.
The Raider Nation is a melting pot which will always be part of Davis’ incredible legacy.