African American committee seeks to bring NFL football back to Oakland

African American committee seeks to bring NFL football back to Oakland

The city of Oakland no longer has an NFL team. The Raiders officially belong to Las Vegas, with coaches and front office staff reporting to work at their brand-new training complex in Henderson, Nev. for the first time Monday morning.

They’ll conduct training camp there, and play from now on at Allegiant Stadium, currently under construction just off the Las Vegas Strip.

This isn’t the first time Oakland has lost their professional football team. The Raiders moved to Los Angeles starting with the 1982 season but came back in 1994 after renovations were made to Oakland Coliseum.

Now, there’s a group looking to put Oakland back on the NFL map, and they want to do it fast. According to a report from, the African-American Sports and Entertainment Committee sent a letter of intent to the NFL that it will formally file an application to acquire an expansion team in the East Bay.

The group would be the first African American ownership group in the NFL. Per to, the letter of intent states that it would construct a privately financed stadium complex on the Oakland Coliseum site.

"It would just be such a historic opportunity, the NFL wanting to support the African-American community and an opportunity for economic equity," committee member Ray Bobbitt said in an interview with "…this is an opportunity for an entire community to establish an economic vehicle for itself and be self-sustaining."

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

The group would also like to build an entertainment complex around the venue itself on the Coliseum site.

While the intent is there, that doesn’t guarantee the NFL will give this group a team even if their financing is vetted positively.

The NFL rarely expands. In fact, the league hasn’t added a team since the Houston Texans came into existence before the 2002 season. The city lost the Oilers to Tennessee – they became the Titans after moving to Nashville – a few years before despite being a strong NFL market. The league gave the Browns back to Cleveland in 1999. The Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars came into the league together in 1995.

Expansion fees are astronomical. The Texans ownership group paid $700 million back in 2002, so a fee could be upwards of $1 billion if the NFL chooses to expand again. There will surely be competition to join an exclusive and lucrative group, where franchise values continue to soar and make their owners super rich.

The league generally expands in new markets, though Houston and Cleveland were given teams after losing them. Los Angeles got the Rams and Chargers back after they moved back to the United States' second-largest city.

[RELATED: New photos of Allegiant Stadium]

Oakland got its team back after the city pledge to finance a Coliseum expansion, and lost the Raiders to Las Vegas after refusing to assist with the construction of a new venue in the East Bay.

The group wants to build on the Coliseum site, which is in a state of flux. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland is considering a sale of that land to the A’s major-league baseball team.

[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Why Raiders' Derek Carr is so excited to work with rookie receivers


Why Raiders' Derek Carr is so excited to work with rookie receivers

The joined-at-the-hip nature of the quarterback-coach relationship sometimes means the quarterback being privy to the thought process of the coach. So it was in the days leading up to last April’s draft when Raiders coach Jon Gruden looped in Derek Carr on a pair of prospects the Raiders were targeting.

He said, ‘Look, I like this guy and I like that guy.’ ” Carr remembers Gruden telling him the day before the draft.

It was Carr’s first introduction to Alabama’s Henry Ruggs and South Carolina’s Bryan Edwards, two dynamic college wide receivers Carr would soon be calling teammates.

Read more on the Review-Journal

Raiders assistant tried to convince players Jon Gruden had coronavirus

Raiders assistant tried to convince players Jon Gruden had coronavirus

In the world's worst Michael Scott impression, Raiders assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia recently tried to convince players over Zoom that Jon Gruden has the coronavirus, in an attempt to show how serious this pandemic is. 

"Bisaccia told them, 'Guys, coach Gruden has COVID, and he's at the hospital now and he's being taken care of,' " NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday. "... It wasn't a joke. What it was was the team illustrating to the players that this could happen at any moment, to anybody."

Well, that's one strategy to have right now. This apparent motivational move came just days before Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson actually did test positive for the coronavirus.

"The point to the players was you've got to stay ready, you've got to stay ready," Garafolo said. "... The players really took it to heart from what I've been told, and know going forward that everybody's got to be on the ready because of the world that we are living in right now."

There have been 62 players around the league who officially have opted out this season over concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Three Raiders -- D.J. Killings, Jeremiah Valoaga and Ukeme Eligwe -- have decided to opt out. There's no doubt others had a tough time with their choice as well.

[RELATED: Raiders' Carr has much to prove, tired of being disrespected]

Bisaccia, 60, is entering his 18th season as an NFL coach. This is his third with the Raiders after spending the previous five as a member of the Dallas Cowboys' staff. These are unprecedented times, but the longtime coach missed the mark on this one. Big time. 

The intentions clearly weren't malicious, but that doesn't excuse Bisaccia. Put down the "World's Best Boss" mug and try again. 

[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]