The Raiders can’t do better because they don’t want to do better.
As the franchise is trying to save face due to the fallout of Jon Gruden and his emails, the team decided to come up with a “genius” idea to atone for the fact that they hired and treasured a mediocre and overpaid coach that has an affinity for sending racist, homophobic, and misogynistic emails.
Never forget that this is the same franchise that posted this message to social media after the Derek Chauvin verdict.
So, this past week, somebody who works for the Raiders said, “Hey, I have a great idea, let’s get some Black people to perform for us to make it look like we’re sorry” — not realizing that having Black people perform for you when your former head coach demeaned Black people isn’t the smartest thing to do. But off they went and now it’s been reported that Gospel artist Yolanda Adams will be singing the National Anthem on Sunday, followed by a halftime performance from Grambling State’s (an HBCU) band.
But, instead of going on some rant about how this is yet another dumb decision that the Raiders – and the NFL – have made when it comes to race relations, I’ve come up with a list of things the team could have actually done as a good-faith gesture. Oh, and pay attention to how the team seems to only be concerned with “smoothing things over” with Black folks, instead of addressing the women and LGBTQ community that Gruden also disrespected, as the only openly gay player in NFL history (Carl Nassib) is in the Raiders’ locker room.
- Actually follow the Rooney Rule.
In case you forgot, Raiders owner Mark Davis basically admitted to hiring Gruden before he fired then-head coach Jack Del Rio. The Raiders skirted the Rooney rule, their interviews with Tee Martin and Bobby Johnson all for show. Then, with Gruden in place, the Raiders hired Mike Mayock to be their general manager. Mayock had no prior front office experience before he got the job — he was previously an NFL Network draft analyst who once said he’d take Blaine Gabbert over Cam Newton. But, according to reports, Gruden wanted Mayock, and the Raiders weren’t going to let the Rooney Rule stop them.
2. Cut Nathan Peterman.
The worst quarterback of all time is a bum white dude that’s taking up valuable space on the roster. Let him go.
3. Sign Colin Kaepernick.
If Peterman’s leaving, you might as well replace him with a better option.
4. Sign Eric Reid.
Since Gruden said that Eric Reid “should be fired” for kneeling with Kap, go ahead and sign him, too.
5. Give all your Black employees raises.
Look, I’m not saying you can buy us off. But, I am saying we deserve something for our troubles.
6. Donate millions to HBCUs.
Since you want Grambling State to come and perform for you, why not drop a few million in the bank accounts of multiple HBCUs across the country. Because as the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) used to say, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Also, college is expensive.
7. Release the emails.
Despite the NFL lying to us by reporting that no other current team or personnel were implicated in the Washington Football Team email investigation, how about releasing all the emails Gruden sent when he was coaching the Raiders. There’s gotta be something in there, too.