Drama is the usual suspect that follows the Oakland Raiders into their off-season programs. However, the new regime in place has dealt away most of the drama queens and brought in personnel who just want to play football. Furthermore, the Raiders can thank the New England Patriots ex-tight end Aaron Hernandez for shifting the spot light toward the east coast.
Still, a bit of drama happened regardless of where the focus has been. It began with the Sports Illustrated article that featured comments from the Oakland Raiders ex-Public Relations Director Zak Gilbert. The article, released in April of 2013, favored Reggie McKenzie, but it was not so favorable toward the late Al Davis and his son, current owner, Mark Davis. As a result, Gilbert was released on June 1, 2013. Gilbert’s unemployment was short-lived, because he was hired by the Cleveland Browns shortly after his release.
Currently, a law suit has been filed in Alameda Superior Court against the Oakland Raiders Organization. The law suit was filed by two former scouts that were fired after the 2012 NFL Draft. The two scouts, Jon Kingdon and Bruce Kebric, are claiming that they were discriminated against due to their age. The claim states that the law protects employees over the age of 40 from adverse employment action. Kingdon had previously spent 33 years with the Raiders and Kebric had spent 31 years with the team.
In a statement issued to PFT, the Oakland Raiders Organization stated, “The Oakland Raiders have a long history of being an equal opportunity employer, without regard to race, gender, or age. These claims of age discrimination are meritless.”
On May 8, 2012, the Oakland Raiders announced that Kingdon and Kebric were relieved of their duties. Kent McCloughlan and George Karras were also asked to leave. McCloughlan and Karras both retired. Reggie McKenzie had taken over the team as the new General Manager, and he was cleaning house. In McKenzie’s opinion, it was time to bring in his own personnel for the Player-Personnel Department (Scouts).
In any changeover or rebuilding process for NFL teams, there is always going to be large-scale restructuring. As part of the restructuring process, there will be players released and staff members (i.e., coaches, scouts, personnel, etc…) fired or relieved of their duties. Nobody within any NFL organization can actually expect to be secure at their job position. Just like players, there is always somebody else looking to take your job.
I guess in some way, the two scouts are taking the firing personally. As such, they are trying to slide in under the umbrella of an age discrimination law (Much like the Tuck Rule). Again, the Oakland Raiders Organization has proclaimed that the allegations have no basis, and the organization has reiterated that they are an equal employment opportunity employer. Unless one of our players does something stupid within the next couple of weeks, this is all the drama you will find about the Oakland Raiders.