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Possibly the only thing that could be worse for Oakland than a loss of a third of its Black population in less than 30 years is that so many of its stars develop their chops, their talents and skills in Oakland and then leave and don’t come back or give back! Our community treasure chest would be much richer if our Oakland All Stars came back home! Most of the great talent that Oakland develops leaves to enrich the coffers and treasure chests of other cities and countries.
The 1960s and 1970s saw a hurricane of political athletes: legends like Muhammad Ali, John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Curt Flood and Billie Jean King. But nothing, literally nothing, in the history of sports and politics can compare to what happened on Sunday. Expressions of dissent broke out in every single NFL game during the playing of the National Anthem. Some players kneeled, some sat, some raised fists and some linked arms. But all of them were standing in opposition to Donald Trump. Announcers and commentators discussed their actions sympathetically. The booing one might expect from fans was sparse.
On March 27, 2017, NFL owners voted 31 to 1 in favor of allowing the Oakland Raiders to move from Oakland to Las Vegas. The lone vote against the move came from Miami Dolphin’s owner, Stephen Ross. Call me crazy, but I say the statement by Ross and a June 2011 letter from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should embarrass the league enough to trigger an NFL Black fan revolt to reverse the decision to move the Raiders to Las Vegas. Since 1970 I have been fooled into thinking the NFL really made strides against racism in America. A Black team leaves a Black city, and Blacks have nothing to say about it?
Oakland resident Joseph R. Debro Jr. was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on Nov. 27, 1928, and passed away on Nov. 5, 2013, at a VA facility in Martinez, California. Joe Debro was the eldest of three children born to Joseph Debro and Seleana Gaylor Debro. Mr. Debro’s two younger siblings, Julius Cesar and Gloria Etta, were born in 1931 and 1935.
Like President Clinton in his first run for president, Oakland’s city auditor developed her creds in the conservative community by creating a Sista Souljah moment. She publicly spanked two Black City Council members. These council members, Desley Brooks and Larry Reid, were trying desperately to level the economic playing field in Oakland. They were trying to integrate the money.
2012 could be called the year of the Black quarterback. Black quarterbacks were the new breed, making most of the headlines, with players like Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III, aka RG3, dazzling the NFL with their scrambling ability and foot speed, accurate passing skills and overall sterling play, fulfilling the promise of all previous Black quarterbacks who paved the way.
Candlestick Park was home to the “Battle of the Bay” football game this past weekend, which featured the 0-5 San Francisco 49ers against the 2-3 Oakland Raiders. Impassioned fans from all over Northern California descended on the Bayview neighborhood to see who could win a game of futility.
The Oakland Raiders are 1-3 at the quarter part of the season, after just losing to the Houston Texans 31-24. They are much improved from last year, playing harder on both ends of the field. But they still have some of the same weaknesses they have had the last few seasons.
In a game that was not a thing of beauty, the Oakland Raiders found a way to defeat the St. Louis Rams 16-14 on Sunday in the 2010 home opener at the Coliseum in Oakland. This was the teams’ first win in a home opener since 2004. With the win, the Silver and Black evened their record at 1-1 on the season while St. Louis falls to 0-2.