A common ritual among disgruntled fans as a way of sending a message to a franchise or a player is to set their jerseys and/or team paraphernalia ablaze. One such Raiders fan, upset by the team’s recent approval to relocate to Las Vegas, posted a notice on Craigslist that he was going to be burning all his Raiders gear this coming weekend unless someone bought it off of him first.
The man -- who the San Francisco Chronicle reported to be a 55-year-old former building contractor — said he has been a fan since the ‘70s and estimated to have attended around 100 games in his life.
The ad lists a Raiders helmet, flags, hoodies, T-shirts, and wall banners among the items to be burned along with jerseys of Derek Carr and Ken Stabler.
“I have been a raider fan all my life but I'm not going to go through another move from the greedy Davis family that shows no respect or love for the fans or the community So All raider gear must go before it gets burned for my YouTube video.” The ad reads.
Kendra Stabler-Moyes, Ken Stabler’s daughter, saw the article in the Chronicle about the fan’s intentions and wrote him an email.
“I wrote to him and said I know you are angry, we all are but please don't burn my father’s jersey,” Stabler-Moyes told Silver & Black Pride. “It makes me sad to think of that.”
This resonated with the man, who responded to her plea that he would not be burning either his Stabler of Derek Carr jersey.
“Your father was an inspiration and an idol to so many people including myself,” the man said in his email response. “I was raised a raider fan living in the Bay Area. My intention was not to retaliate against the players but to voice my opinion on how disheartening I find the NFL in the deep pockets of Mark Davis.
“I truly apologize to you and your family if I upset you in any way, it was not my intent. I appreciate you reaching out and sending me an email I will not burn your father's or anyone else's jersey. I will keep it to unnumbered raider paraphernalia.”
The man went on to say he would be handing the Stabler jersey off to his grandson “so that his legacy continues.”
Each fan reacts to this news in their own way. This fan reached his breaking point, adding “My heart was broken for the last time. Being a faithful supporter and fan has no loyalty in the NFL.”
His willingness to offer his items for sale along with respecting the players and their families by not essentially burning their jerseys in effigy for all to see is a good example for others to follow.