Citizenry has been a constant when it comes to the Oakland Raiders
Player arrests haven’t received much attention recently, but that’s good news for the Oakland Raiders. In fact, none of their players have been detained in more than three years.
Despite not going deep into the playoffs since they last went to the Super Bowl in 2002 (last year they were “one and done” against the Houston Texans unfortunately), not having players going to jail on a constant basis is a good reason for the team and Raider Nation to celebrate.
With recent news of the Baltimore Ravens leading the league with drug suspensions since 2010, the San Francisco 49ers having the most arrests since 2012, and the Dallas Cowboys emphasizing “talent over character” as long as they win, it might sound outdated, archaic or quaint to build a team based on high character individuals.
In spite of this, that’s what the Raiders are doing, and it all starts with general manager Reggie McKenzie.
After inheriting a team that was lacking talent and pretty much everything else, McKenzie immediately implemented his vision as he set to build again the once proud franchise.
He said, via the Mercury News in 2012 that “when you talk about high-character guys, how they were brought up, work ethic, I think part of that is kind of reflective of your faith.” He added that “just by nature, good-quality players have a strong foundation in their faith.”
On the other hand and not to come across as a religious fanatic, he pointed out that it was not his intent to just draft “faith-based players specifically.”
Although faith and religion are not indicators of how many times a person is incarcerated or not, there is some logic behind McKenzies model to put a team together; players and individuals that have strong beliefs will abide by the law.
In a different article back in 2013, Mackenzie mentioned that “when it’s time to leave the building, you’re going to make sure that you’re able to come back the next day ready to go to work and trying to make this team a better team.”
He also added in the same piece that “We want guys that are football players, not wannabes. There’s a whole lot of wannabes. They look the part, think they’re the guy, but they’re not willing to do the work.”
It isn’t hard to understand that he wanted and continues wanting disciplined players that can contribute and said players will be less likely to be arrested as they are too busy with their professional and athletic lives.
So even if the Raiders don’t go to court anymore because they bring the criminal element of society into the NFL or call other players soft as former safety George Atkinson said about Lynn Swann when talking about him being hit, there’s a new culture being brewed in Oakland, a culture that in spite of having a different mantra, the objective is the same as the one those classic Raiders teams that won three Super Bowls followed: Just Win!!!