The following statement was delivered by Raiders owner Mark Davis to open Tuesday's press conference introducing Reggie McKenzie as the new general manager of the Oakland Raiders.
"Three months ago, on Oct. 8, 2011 at 3 a.m. I received a phone call from Dr. General Hilliard that my father had passed away. It was a sad day for the Raider Nation and all the players, coaches and fans that had worn the famed Silver & Black over the past 48 years. I had two immediate goals -- one short term, one long term. My short-term goal was to make sure the season continued with as little disruption as possible and to achieve our goal of reaching the playoffs, and winning the Super Bowl. In that regard I asked John Madden to join me in a meeting with coach Jackson, where we discussed the optimum working relationship between the coach and myself.
"My short-term goal went great for about five days. Then Jason Campbell broke his right clavicle in the game. The following week we lost Darren McFadden to a foot injury, which unknowingly at the time, turned out to be a season-ending injury. At one point in the season we were 7-4 and two games ahead in the division. And then we lost four of the next five games to finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs. To say the least, it was certainly a disappointment. My long-term goal was to research and identify a general manager to lead the Raider organization into the future. I consulted with Ron Wolf to help me identify potential candidates, one of which was Reggie McKenzie.
"Unfortunately, league rules prohibited us from contacting any current employees of any other National Football League teams until the end of the regular season. So for three months I did extensive research into all the potential candidates for the job.But early on I recognized that Reggie McKenzie was the man I was looking for to lead the Raiders into the future.
"On January 1 the shackles were off and we were finally able to ask the Green Bay Packers for permission to interview Reggie McKenzie to become general manager of the Oakland Raiders. On January 2 the Green Bay Packers graciously granted that permission. I called Reggie, we spoke briefly, and made arrangements for him to fly in for an interview. We met with John Madden for about six hours and reached an agreement that Reggie would become the general manager of the Oakland Raiders.
"After the meeting I texted Reggie that my father used to say, "the greatness of the Raiders is in its future." Reggie, the future is now. Ladies and gentlemen, Reggie McKenzie."
LANDOVER, Md. – The Raiders are shockingly healthy heading into their third game. Cornerback Sean Smith was the only Raider on the injury report with neck and shoulder issues, and even he was given the green light.
The Raiders secondary will be whole for the first time this season with Smith and Gareon Conley both healthy. David Amerson will start in his return to Washington.
Keith McGill will make his season debut after missing most of the preseason with a fractured foot.
Defensive tackle Jihad Ward is a healthy scratch, joining cornerback Dexter McDonald, safety Erik Harris, quarterback Connor Cook, defensive tackle Darius Latham and offensive tackles Jylan Ware and David Sharpe on the inactive list.
Washington had several questionable players who weren’t ready to go. Tight end Jordan Reed is inactive, which should benefit a Raiders defense that has struggled mightily covering players of his size. Washington is also playing without primary running back Rob Kelley and starting inside linebacker Mason Foster.
The Raiders are one of the few teams yet to put out an official statement in the wake of President Trump's remarks at a rally in Alabama on Friday.
But on Sunday morning, owner Mark Davis spoke with ESPN and had this to say about players protesting during the national anthem:
“About a year ago, before our Tennessee game, I met with Derek Carr and Khalil Mack to ask their permission to have Tommie Smith light the torch for my father before the game in Mexico City. I explained to them that I was asking their permission because I had previously told them that I would prefer that they not protest while in the Raiders uniform. And should they have something to say, once their uniform was off, I might go up there with them. Over the last year, though, the streets have gotten hot and there has been a lot of static in the air and recently, fuel has been added to the fire. I can no longer ask our team to not say something while they are in a Raider uniform. The only thing I can ask them to do is do it with class. Do it with pride. Not only do we have to tell people there is something wrong, we have to come up with answers. That’s the challenge in front of us as Americans and human beings.”
According to the NFL Network, the entire Raiders offensive line plans to sit or kneel during the national anthem on Sunday in Washington.
This season, first-year Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch has protested during the national anthem by sitting on a bench on the sideline. During the Raiders' preseason game against the Rams on August 20, linebacker Bruce Irving stood with his teammates but raised a fist in the air and quarterback Derek Carr placed his hand on the shoulder of edge rusher Khalil Mack.
Afterwards, Carr insisted it wasn't a form of protest.
“We’re not doing anything like that. We wanted to show the kids that look up to me, look up to him, white kids, black kids, brown kids, blue, green, it doesn’t matter -- all be loving to each other. We’re best friends and we’re loving to one another," Carr told reporters.
“The only reason we did that was to unify the people that look up to us because obviously you see what’s going on in the world. Obviously everyone pays attention to the national anthem nowadays. We just said that obviously this was the best time to do it while still honoring this country because I love this country. We’re free to live here and play this game but we’re also free to show that we love one another.”