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Raiders beat Rams in preseason debut

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Oakland – Two days of practice during Training Camp.  Now both teams got the opportunity to open up the pre-season facing each other.  No starters no problem.  The Raiders beat the Rams 14-3 in their preseason debut without their main starters on the field.

No Derek Carr or Jared Goff.   Both back-ups Mike Glennon and Blake Bortles got the nod.  Glennon completed 17 of 25 for 200 yards and two interceptions.  On the first series he displayed good communication with his receivers.  Glennon went deep on a pass to J.J Nelson for 38 yards.

That setup DeAndre Washington’s 7-yard touchdown.  Glennon had two passes intercepted including one in the end zone.  Oakland had a good rhythm going when Glennon made back-to-back passes to Ryan Grant for 18 yards, Keon Hatcher for 27 yards and Marcela Ateman for 19 yards.

“I was thinking about calling timeout beforehand and I should have done that,” said Glennon.  “It was a bad throw.”

With another opportunity to score before the half, Glennon’s intended pass was for Derek Carrier but was intercepted by Steven Parker in the end zone, who ran it back for 39 yards.  The effort was there for the offense but Glennon just couldn’t finish the plays.  Nathan Peterman made up for it in the third quarter.

Photo by Eric Taylor

Peterman who is competing with Glennon for the backup spot behind Carr, scrambled for 50 yards to setup his pass to Keelan Doss for the 3-yard touchdown.  Peterman went 9 of 12 throws for 66 yards.  After being forced out of the pocket on 3rd and fourth, Peterman made his way through the defense.  His pass to Doss was confirmed after further review.

“It was super clean pocket and I was able to get out to my left,” Peterman said.  “Took off and I was about to slide then noticed that there was nobody else there.  I think it was because of guys blocking downfield, guys making big plays for me.  Tried to get in there, didn’t quite make it.”

Antonio Brown continues to be absent from Training Camp.  It was first reported he developed blistered and frost bitten feet after receiving cryptotherapy in France.  Now, he’s filed a grievance with the NFL on a new rule that he can’t wear his decade old helmet.  Threatening to retire if he’s not allowed to wear his helmet, Brown still remains absent from camp.

“I support this guy,” said Gruden.  “I don’t know what anybody’s writing or what anybody thinks, but this foot injury wasn’t his fault.  This was a total accident.  It really wasn’t his fault and it’s a serous injury.

The helmet thing is a personal matter to him.  We’re supporting him and understand the league’s position as well, so we’re in a tough spot.”

Photo by Eric Taylor

Bortles struggled moving the offense and was replaced before the first quarter ended.  He completed 3 of 8 passes for 50 yards. Brandon Allen finished with 6 of 12 for 34 yards.  Greg Zuerlein’s 36-yard field goal late in the first half put the Rams on the board.  Despite two interceptions LA couldn’t get their offense going.

“I thought he did good,” Sean McCoy said.  “He had some drops.  I think the stats are misleading to the production that he had.  He made some good decisions.  I though he made the most of his opportunities.

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Bay Area

The Tragic Sports Abuse of Oakland

All 3 teams leaving?

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Spalding Basketball on a court; Photo courtesy of Sabri Tuzcu via Unsplash

Oakland is the most victimized sports city on the planet, and there is no close second.

And it’s not Oakland’s fault. Pirates, highwaymen and carpetbaggers have unified their heartless souls to rob Oakland of its championship, and fan-supported, sports existence. Under high crimes and misdemeanors, this is the highest crime in sports pilfering.

The Raiders are the only sports franchise to leave the same American city twice, despite sellout crowds before skipping off to Los Angeles, and sellout crowds again after their inglorious failure in Tinseltown. And now they’re off to Las Vegas, which, in time, might prove a worse investment than playing craps.

But, at least, the Raiders were homegrown, Oakland’s own. The Warriors came to Oakland from San Francisco, where the franchise was going broke, and built themselves up financially, with capacity attendance, as by winning three NBA championships in the short space of five years. After that, it was back across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco, where this one-time dynastic bunch has found itself in serious slippage.

And, lastly, Oakland is one fleeing franchise short of a hat trick — all three of its teams taking flight. The last team still with an Oakland zip code, the Athletics, are looking at Las Vegas or — who knows? — the moon for a new home. This is the same franchise that bottomed out in Kansas City, after burning out in Philadelphia, and now is seeking to bury Oakland among its dearly departed.

It isn’t failure on the field of play that’s driving these teams elsewhere. Despite becoming a major-league sports town in 1960, a late start in sports economics, Oakland has produced 10 national championships. The A’s and Warriors have four titles apiece, and the Raiders have won two Super Bowls.

And it isn’t disappointment at the box office that these teams can use as an alibi. The Raiders and Warriors filled their facilities despite having long stretches of losing seasons, built on horrific draft picks. Jamarcus Russell, anyone? Joe Smith? The A’s haven’t drawn nearly as well as the other two tenants at the Oakland Coliseum Complex, but when you’re constantly trying to move to Fremont, Santa Clara, and now Las Vegas, why should local fans display loyalty?

I’ve been observing the Oakland sports scene closely since 1964 after gaining employment at the Oakland Tribune, which has left Oakland, too, with no relocation, no nothing. My arrival coincided with the building of the Coliseum and adjacent Arena in 1966, which was large-scale planning since the Raiders were the only team in town back then. The A’s moved here in 1968, and the Warriors in 1974. The Coliseum and Arena, over time, would be the last of the dual sports complexes in the country, but let it be known that it was the absolute best of its kind.

First, it was built in the middle of six Bay Area counties, with Contra Costa to the North, Santa Clara to the East, San Mateo to the South, San Francisco and Marin to the West, and Alameda County where the first shovel of dirt was dug for the complex itself.

Fortuitous still, the complex would be abutted in time by rapid transit (BART), a freeway, and railroad tracks, with an airport five minutes away. The Father of the Coliseum, the late Robert Nahas, was Einstein-like in his blueprints for the complex, and for Oakland’s future as a big-league, big-time sports town.

Adding to that image were the most loyal, passionate and, well, loony crazy fans. Oakland has the most abused fans in the universe in spite of fanaticism that couldn’t be rivaled anywhere. Who gets stepped on not once, but twice, by the black-attired, blackhearted Raiders and still professes loyalty. If the Raiders fail in Las Vegas, and they might eventually, the Coliseum in Oakland would fill up again. Nobody loves a team like Raider fans, bless their ravaged souls.

You mean the Raiders could come back to Oakland for a third go-around? If the Davis family is in charge, of course. Al, the father, was a user, and Mark, the son, a loser. Neither one of them, in all this time, has stuck their nose out for Oakland. They advertised little if all, they gave to charities nil, and they expected deference regardless throughout their penuriousness. There have been traitors replete throughout the history of organized sports, but nothing like the Davises, father and son: Benedict Arnold and Benedict Arnold Junior.

But as bad as they were, Oakland’s biggest problem, sadly, is Oakland itself. Oakland’s sports owners look at Oakland as a place to run from, rather than to grow with. Being situated across the Bay from San Francisco always has been Oakland’s detriment, dating back to early last century when Oakland native Gertrude Stein said of Oakland: “There’s no there there.” She said that after returning home from Paris and finding her old neighborhood changed, but historians took it as a slight on Oakland.

So the Warriors’ new ownership of Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber began packing up right away for San Francisco, but like other sports ownerships, myopically. Because, at that same juncture, Oakland suddenly came alive as a city commercially, more so than at any other time in history. New businesses, new buildings, new daytime choices, and new nighttime adventures suddenly spurted. Oakland had become, of all things, a boomtown.

Imagine that, while the thinking of the Raiders and Warriors ownerships could go “boom” in their faces. There is no rapid transit or railroad tracks abutting the stadium in Las Vegas, and there is limited parking next to the stadium, which means most fans will tailgate a mile away and take transit to the stadium. The Warriors have no rapid transit close by, no parking to speak of, and game tickets cost high-roller prices.

What was there in Oakland has been lost in franchise-and-fan togetherness in Las Vegas and San Francisco. And if the Raiders and Warriors start losing, which is immediately possible, who will want to mortgage homes and businesses to pay those exorbitant ticket prices? And if the A’s follow the Raiders to Las Vegas, it gets costlier because the A’s will need a domed stadium. You see, you can’t play baseball in 115-degree heat, for there’s nothing cool about that.

It just might turn out, for all three Oakland teams, that “there’s no there there” in their new digs.

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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Bay Area

Martinez-Born NFL Rookie Joins Gov. Newsom’s Efforts Against Homelessness and Hunger

Harris has dedicated personal time and resources to address poverty, education, homelessness, and food insecurity. He has also collaborated with Oakland native and former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to address similar issues through fundraising initiatives and events. 

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Caption: Pittsburgh Steeler rookie Najee Harris speaks at a press conference with Gov. Gavin Newsom. California Black Media photo.

Rookie Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris, who was born in Martinez and attended high school in Antioch, came home last week to join Gov. Gavin Newsom in Santa Clara as he announced his efforts to address the state’s ongoing homelessness crisis and a new COVID-19-related rental relief program.

Harris, who was picked in the first round of the NFL draft about a month ago, is using his celebrity and resources to support low-income families experiencing homelessness and hunger through his nonprofit Da’ Bigger Picture Foundation.

At the press conference with the governor, Harris shared his personal experience with homelessness and how that has inspired him to help others in similar situations.

“Me my family, we were all once homeless, moving around the Bay Area,” said Harris at the press conference.  “San Francisco, Richmond. I lived in Pinole, Sacramento.

“We were evicted numerous times and had to stay in homeless shelters, friends’ houses, cars. But as a family, we stuck together and made it through these tough times,” he said.

“Now I’m in a position to help out people. But a problem with no answer is just a problem,” Harris said referring to the state’s homelessness crisis.

Harris has dedicated personal time and resources to address poverty, education, homelessness, and food insecurity. He has also collaborated with Oakland native and former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to address similar issues through fundraising initiatives and events.

The state created Project Homekey, a California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) grant program that funded programs and institutions in cities and  counties to secure shelter for unhoused people.

It was a state initiative created to expand the scope of its programmatic predecessor, Project Roomkey. That effort was a temporary housing program implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the state, it was created to comply with the state’s shelter-in-place orders, provide spaces for people affected by COVID-19 to recover and to serve as a first stop on a pathway to more permanent housing.

Through Roomkey, hotels and motels in California offered shelter for homeless people who were exposed to COVID-19 to recover and properly quarantine in an effort to minimize the strain on the healthcare system. Although Homekey provides interim housing, the state has secured over 6,000 additional housing units and bills that project as a pathway to permanent housing for homeless people.

Newsom said that the state acknowledges that homeless people are unable to live, “a good life in an unjust society.”

“You can sit there and point fingers or abdicate responsibility, but we have agency, we can shape the future decisions,” he said.

California Black Media’s coverage of COVID-19 is supported by the California Health Care Foundation.

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Featured

City Seeks to Work With A’s, Major League Baseball To Keep Team in Oakland

City Council leaders said it’s incorrect “that the City Council is delaying or refusing to consider the A’s project proposal,” at Howard Terminal.

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Leaders of the Oakland City Council told the head of Major League Baseball in a May 14 letter that they are willing to work with the As baseball team to keep it from moving out of the city.

    Oakland recently lost both its National Football League franchise the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas and the Golden State Warriors to San Francisco.

    The letter comes just days after MLB told the Oakland As to look for another city to play while pursuing a waterfront park in Oakland.  

    “The Oakland City Council is committed to negotiating in good  faith for a strong future for the A’s in Oakland, and we invite the As and MLB to do the same by agreeing not to seek relocation while the As complete the (stadium at the Charles P. Howard Terminal) project  process, the letter begins.

    But officials in Las Vegas revealed on May 12 on Twitter through Mayor Carolyn Goodman that they have been talking with the As since 2019 and they are excited.

    City Council leaders said it’s incorrect that the City Council is delaying or refusing to consider the A’s project proposal, at Howard Terminal.

    Rather, many, such as city staff have been working to bring the proposal to the council for potential approval.

   But the As have been working on the project for nearly five years, As president Dave Kaval said in February. Opposition, too, has mounted against the Howard Terminal site and in favor of a new stadium at the current Oakland Coliseum site.

    The City Council’s letter says that MLB has concluded without sufficient support that the Coliseum site is not viable.City Council leaders asked in the letter for the materials MLB reviewed to draw that conclusion.

    The councils letter is signed by council President Nikki Fortunato Bas, Vice Mayor and Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan and Councilmember Carroll Fife, who represents downtown and West Oakland.

    The Howard Terminal site is near both downtown and West Oakland.

    City Council leaders are willing to meet with MLB officials and the As ownership, the letter says, to thoughtfully move forward.

    Council leaders said the As leadership recently changed their requests.

    “Rather than send forward full completed deal terms for consideration, the As demanded that the council vote on summary deal terms.  

    “Council leadership expressed willingness to explore this request, and met with the As staff and other stakeholders to seek how best to move forward, according to the letter.  

    Council leaders were in the process of scheduling a vote on the summary deal terms before their summer recess when MLB told the As to seek a new home while it pursues a waterfront ballpark in Oakland.

    “This relocation announcement came without giving the council an opportunity to receive and vote on a proposal and did not even wait for the time requested for the vote, the letter says.

    “Since the request was for a vote by August, why would you announce permission to explore relocation, prior to the date of the requested vote, if the request had been a sincere one? the letter said.

    Council leaders asked MLB to confirm its intentions.

    “Can you confirm definitively, that if the council were to take such a vote for a term sheet regarding the As, that you would prohibit any action to seek or pursue relocation during those next steps?

    Kaplans staff confirmed late on the afternoon of May 14 that a vote on the summary deal terms will be scheduled for before the August recess.

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