January 25, 2017
Members of Raider Nation call for boycotts
Judged primarily on the basis of fan enthusiasm, the Oakland Raiders are one of the most loved teams in all of professional sports. But the Silver and Black Pirates are already hearing mutinous rumblings from inside their fan base … unrest created by rumors the team will be moving to Las Vegas. The decision hasn’t even been made yet, and some fans are already calling for a boycott.
Call me shortsighted, but it’s hard to see how staying home will bring about the result Raiders fans want. If you want the team to stay, why would you stay away from games? Isn’t that an incentive for the team to leave town?
Then again, the protesters may have a point. Part of the alleged plan involved in moving the team would keep the Raiders in Oakland for a few years while things get ready for them in Vegas. That means fans would be asked to cheer for a team that really isn’t “their team” any longer.
When this news leaked out into the world of sports media, it incensed many in the trade. They, in turn, used their various platforms to rally Raider Nation to let the team and its management know exactly what they thought of such an idea. Stay home. Go for a Sunday picnic. Have a garden party … and whatever you do, don’t renew those season tickets or go anywhere near the Oakland Coliseum on Game Day unless the Raiders commit to sticking around.
By and large, Raider Nation has been receptive to the calls for boycotts and other measures to let the team know they’re none too pleased with the delayed plans to move the franchise. The quotes to call-in shows, letters to the sports editors of the local papers and message boards online are blowing up with angry Raider fans who are not going to sit idly by and be, quote, “…done dirty that way…” end quote, as one fan put it.
And all of that happened before it was announced that the Raiders have filed legitimate paperwork asking the league’s permission to not only move but also build a nearly two-billion-dollar domed stadium in Sin City. Forget that no such site exists and that the team isn’t anywhere close to finding one. Just the fact that they’re sniffing around is enough to enrage the denizens of Oakland Coliseum’s notorious Black Hole.
That places the Raiders team ownership in a very difficult situation. They need to keep the money rolling in while they plan their move … but they’re facing an increasingly hostile fan base … and Raiders fans were not known for being a passive and accepting bunch in the first place.