Oakland – Mark Davis, the Oakland Raiders Manager of The General Partnership, likes to take actions that amount to picking fights with people. He likes to make people feel bad or unhappy in the wake of his own success. Witness how he’s treated Oakland Raiders Nation or the Oakland A’s and the City of Oakland – and all just after landing one of the richest naming rights deals in sports for the future home of the Raiders, Las Vegas Stadium.
Mark Davis has elected to go on a fake news dissing tour of Las Vegas and LA Media (or what’s left of it) and tell people made-up stories. In this, he comes off like the divisive President Donald Trump: calling people nasty names like “pricks”.
First, Mark Davis says he and his Oakland Raiders were kicked out of the Oakland Coliseum. Well, let’s see: the Raiders are set to play in that same place Saturday, so that’s wrong. Plus, he’s got a contract, Davis does, where his team can play there through 2020. That’s a good idea since it’s clear his new palace in Las Vegas won’t be ready to host a full NFL 2020 Season Schedule. So, as much as a good number of Raider Nation members wanted Davis removed from the facility, he’s still there. So much for Davis’ first bit of fake news – gone.
Second Davis told Vinny Bonsignore of the LA Daily News that “Among other things, over the last two years the A’s took away more than 3,000 seats at the Coliseum – all of which were #Raiders season ticket holder seats – as part of changes the A’s were making at the stadium.” Gee, I guess Mark forgot there was this thing called the Internet.
Let’s go back to 2013, and the Raiders announcement that it would reduce seats by 10,000. Amy Trask, then the Raiders CEO, told the local media and Deadspin that they were trying to avoid TV blackouts. She said “It’s an ongoing commitment on our part to create a vibrant, vibrant game-day environment with a community of season-ticket holders. We want to continue to provide the entire region with our games live locally on television.”
I can personally tell you a lot of Raiders fans believed it was really just an excuse to raise ticket prices and had little to do with any concerns about TV blackouts. Note, the Oakland A’s were not a part of this story at the time. For years, Raiders fans begged the Oakland NFL team to remove the game-day tarp, but to no avail. Now, Davis acts like all of that didn’t happen, and instead points to the last three years and calls the A’s Front Office “pricks.”
Look, Dave Rinetti, the Oakland A’s Vice President and Stadium Manager, is someone I’ve known for a good 26 years, now. He’s never in public or private done anything or been any type of person who anyone would match with that word. The same can be said for A’s President Dave Kaval, who did what Davis did not do: embrace Oakland and express a true desire to build a new stadium in Oakland.
Mark Davis owes the A’s a personal, directly expressed apology. They don’t deserve that kind of treatment. Indeed, no one in Oakland does. Mark Davis is the one to blame for his Las Vegas depature. Davis was and is chasing gambling money, and rather than help the City of Oakland improve its sports lot by trying to get it involved in sports gambling, he works behind the Mayor of Oakland’s back to move the team. In fact, Davis twice worked behind Libby Schaaf’s back – and everyone in Oakland knows it.
On top of that, the enormous disrespect The Raiders have personally shown Libby would make her a great candidate for the Me Too Movement if she were of a mind to go in that direction and blast Davis and the Raiders. Davis did not returned her calls in regarding a new stadium, and let the word get out that they didn’t hold her in the highest regard. Many comments that have come out about her are ones that were passed on to me, and I have told her about, and that goes back to 2015.
The way the Raiders and Mark Davis treated Libby wasn’t always that way, but once it was clear to Davis that she wasn’t going to negotiate for a public subsidy using the media, rather than understand the politics of saying nothing and working behind the scenes in a state that’s alergic to spending public money on sports, the Raiders and Davis elected to go nuclear against her in the press.
The Raiders brass took to sending an email to a member of a local media outlet – the words painted her in unkind terms. It read “The fans are great, they need a great place to see us play our games. We can’t get anything done here, we’ve tried for 8 years. She wants the A’s. She picked them, she wanted them, she told us to pound sand. Her public comments are not reflective of how she treated us since taking office.” All of the Raiders organizations actions were unnecessary, and made me wonder how they would treat a male Mayor of Oakland.
I can personally tell you that Mayor Schaaf was committed to building a positive relationship with Mark Davis. She called me just one week after winning the 2014 Oakland Mayoral Election for advice on how to work with Davis and the Raiders. I told her to make Davis her partner – even to sit on the same side of the table, and to listen to him.
The point is, having a great relationship with the Silver and Black was a top priority for Mayor Schaaf; the Raiders, which already had designs on leaving Oakland, blew it.
For Mark Davis to go out and tell a new story to Las Vegas and LA Media, rather than invite everyone to enjoy his success, is a shame before God.
And God does not like ugly.
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media