I had the opportunity to participate in the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship conference call on Tuesday in which Raiders’ legendary wide receiver Tim Brown was a featured speaker. Brown will participate in the event in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, next month.
Amid the golf talk, Brown also addressed several topics including the Raiders’ reaction to the social justice movement, the move to Las Vegas, and the team’s prospects in 2020.
Let’s get to some highlights:
On social justice:
Raiders’ owner Mark Davis has spoken out against racial inequality during the last month as it has been at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. Brown isn’t surprised, because Mark’s father, Al Davis, was always a champion for minorities. Davis drafted Brown and the two knew each other well. Brown told a story on Tuesday about overhearing a conversation during his playing days detailing how Davis took care of former Raiders’ players well after their careers.
“I’m talking up to a million a month,” Brown recalled. “And most of those guys were minorities … Al Davis was like that.”
Like his dad, Brown said Mark Davis’ current work is “coming from the heart and it is a beautiful thing.”
On the move to Las Vegas:
I asked Brown about watching the team move to Las Vegas and what he is expecting to see from them this season. He said he got over the emotional aspect of the move a couple of years ago. He talked to Raiders’ officials then and they said they didn’t want to leave Oakland, but they had no choice because city officials didn’t help get a new stadium. He said that was unfortunate, but he is excited for Las Vegas. “I think the Raiders and Las Vegas are the perfect fit. I don’t know if another team could pull this off better than the Raiders.”
On the 2020 Raiders’ roster:
Brown said he is a believer in Raiders’ head coach Jon Gruden and he wouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame if he didn’t play for Gruden in Oakland and then again in Tampa Bay. Brown is excited about the addition of rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III in the offense. He compares that wrinkle to the offense to when the Raiders had James Jett, who was a real burner like Ruggs. Jett played for the Raiders from 1993-2002 and was there during Gruden’s entire first tenure with the Raiders. Brown said Ruggs will impact the game like Jett did.
“I think they can fight to the end to get in the playoff mix and maybe even take a deep run into the playoffs,” Brown said of this season’s team.