Mark Davis: The Boat Rocker The NFL Needs

Ridicule his bloody haircut all you want, but Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis is exactly the boat rocker the NFL needs. Davis channeled the spirit of his father Al by being a pioneering voice in one hell of a mess the league created for itself: The Washington Football Team investigation. 

The younger Davis became the first NFL owner to voice the opinion the league needs to provide a written report of the WFT investigation of workplace misconduct at the NFL owners’ meeting on Wednesday.

Not to be lost is the fact the investigation eventually led to Davis’ handpicked choice as Raiders head coach, Jon Gruden, taking his ball and going home after his racist, homophobic and misogynistic emails leaked. The Wall Street Journal and New York Times dropped the emails in respective stories, but that should open Pandora’s Box to the more ugly dealings, right? Surely there are more documented communications like Gruden’s among those 650,000 emails?

Not a bloody chance, says the NFL and its good ‘ole boy owners network. The league said it’s not releasing jack squat and Dallas Cowboys king Jerry Jones said they kiss no ring as the WFT scandal has been dealt with and appropriate actions have been taken. 


Davis must continue to rock the boat because the NFL needs it.

How did Gruden and the Raiders get the guillotine dropped on their collective necks, but Washington walked out squeaky clean? It’s no wonder Davis couldn’t answer the question of how he felt about his team being punished. All while the supposed biggest rat on the ship continues to feast with witness protection-like immunity.

“I can’t get into that because the only thing we’ve seen so far is the emails that Jon had, and we haven’t seen any of the others and anything else,” Davis told – ironically of all places, on Wednesday. “So that’s basically again what I said initially was, ask the NFL. They’ve got all the answers. We really don’t.”

Davis himself knelt and kissed the ring to get the $750 million to get his palace in the Vegas desert. Lord Jones was a big proponent of that. Allegiant Stadium doesn’t happen if Davis doesn’t do so. He even continued to bend over by taking overseas games in London. That’s called playing nice to ensure your investment gets its due. But then he has to watch the league make his chosen one of a coach, go out into the public square, and get sacrificed like William Wallace. Now, mind you, this isn’t to defend Gruden. What he did was reprehensible, and he should’ve been canned and stricken from Raiders lore.

I’ve never seen Jon exhibit any of those things in practice with the Raiders,” Davis said. “He’s no longer the coach of the Raiders. It’s something that had to be done. It didn’t represent what the Raiders stand for.

But where I agree with Davis is the curious timing of the public execution nature of Gruden’s departure from the Raiders.

The Timing Of It All…

It’s a timing issue,” Davis said. “That’s probably the disappointment that I had. … Well, the fact that they may have known about it a couple of months beforehand and didn’t let us know about that. We weren’t informed until, I guess it was that Thursday (Oct. 7), and we heard it from The Wall Street Journal initially. It was a rumor initially, they wouldn’t give us the email at the time, The Wall Street Journal wouldn’t. We spoke to the league later on that afternoon and by Friday (Oct. 8), they started giving us all the information, I spoke with the Commissioner and those things. But I believed if we’d have gotten the information earlier in the summer when they learned about it, it would’ve been a lot easier for everyone involved.”

Nothing to see here folks…

A dismissal of a head coach in the summer — not saying Davis would’ve canned Gruden then, but let’s assume since his father Al was a big prominent of diversity and progressive practices (merely look up the Raiders history for examples) — would’ve been exponentially easier on an organization. But, perhaps, this is the bloody proper rallying cry that will fuel the Raiders throughout this wild 2021 campaign.

But the wildness shouldn’t be confined merely to his Raiders on the field. Davis must continue to be the thorn in the side of the NFL, an organization that seems to think it’s OK to say “nothing to see here” with the rest of the WFT investigation. 

Probably. Yeah, I think that there should be, yeah,” Davis told the Washington Post about the league providing a written report. “Especially with some of the things that were, I guess, charged. I believe so. I think that people deserve [it], especially the people that were ‘victims.”

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*Top Photo: Courtesy of the Associated Press

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