The Oakland Raiders have long been considered professional football's "badboys." Led by maverick owner Al Davis, the Raiders have always been an "in your face" team that played with reckless abandoned. However, there's a side of Al Davis that casual football fans might not be aware of. In this paper I will explain how the Raiders challenged, and changed, some of professional football's most discrimitory practices.
The Ethical Oakland RaidersTeam HistoryIn 1960 the American Football League (AFL) awarded the city of Oakland, California a professional football franchise. The Oakland Raiders then began their history by losing to Houston, 37-22 and during their early years they were horrible. Two years later, Al Davis, an assistant coach of the San Diego Chargers was hired to be both the Raiders' head coach and general manager. Just 33 years old, Davis would be the youngest man in professional football to hold both titles at the same time.
Although young, Davis had a solid reputation after 14 years in professional football and Sports Illustrated magazine hailed him as a "young coaching genius'' (San Francisco Chronicle, 1995). Davis immediately turned the Raiders around and they finished the year just one win shy of making the playoffs. At the end of the season, Davis was named the AFL's Coach of the Year by several national publications.
In 1966, AFL franchise owners picked Davis to be the league's second commissioner and just eight weeks later the AFL formed an alliance with the established and more powerful National Football League. The two leagues soon merged and reached agreements that included a common player draft and a championship game that would later be called "The Super Bowl." Davis was instrumental in bringing the two leagues together and after the merger he returned to the Raiders to serve as...