It wasn’t surprising to see the Las Vegas Raiders sign tight end Jason Witten this past offseason. After all, he’s bringing veteran leadership to a young team. Nevertheless, his impact is being felt off the field as well.
In a recent video shared on social media, Witten is partaking in informal throwing sessions with his new teammates. It’s encouraging to see the veteran develop chemistry with fellow Raiders players. The team has plenty of youth and potential, and Witten has the kind of leadership that will help them grow.
Veteran Leadership off the Field
Nevertheless, Witten’s presence is also having other kinds of impact. A recent article on the Raiders official website talks about the tight end meeting with local officers and and officials at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Bolden Area Command. In the reunion, the parties discussed mentorship, community outreach, and police relations.
NOW: @JasonWitten, who is now a member of the @Raiders is speaking at @LVMPDBAC with officers and stakeholders in the community. This is in response to the racial unrest across the country. @KTNV pic.twitter.com/gI66hCsNzl— Joe Bartels (@Joe_Bartels) June 9, 2020
Witten cited personal experiences and those in his inner cicle as reasons for having the meeting. “I know from life experience, some of my best friends, some of the people I respect the most had a much more challenging situation than I did. A big reason why was the color of their skin.”
Later, he said he believes in Black Live Matters and using his platform to spread the message. “I think that Black Lives Matter, and I would communicate that to all of my following.”
Likewise, Witten’s aware of the Raiders tradition and the late Al Davis’ legacy. “I know the tradition of Al Davis and the Raiders organization,” Witten said. “I feel so fortunate to be able to play for teams like that, that understand that and allow their actions to do the talking.”
Witten’s recent actions are a reflection of his high character and how he looks for ways to improve. It wasn’t long ago that he sent shockwaves when he declared a roughing-the-passer penalty, “left wing.”
Found the clip. Here’s Witten calling the roughing the passer rule change “left wing” pic.twitter.com/htLzeRcm79— Conor Orr 🐟 (@ConorOrr) September 25, 2018
It’s great to see Witten grow as a person and making the most out of it, on and off the field. It’s not too early to say the Raiders got a good one and the 2020 season hasn’t even started.
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Top Photo: Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press