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AL DAVIS MEETS THE PRESS IN HIS NEW (OLD) HOME
Published July 7, 1995
Wearing a white Raiders sweat suit over a white shirt and black tie, Raiders Owner Al Davis yesterday offered a "first look" inside his decision to return to Oakland, "thanking and saluting" East Bay fans for their devotion, Davis reassured them "he'll defeat any effort to stop the move," according to this morning's OAKLAND TRIBUNE. Davis: "We have the right to move. The very fact that there's another team in the area gives us even more right to move, because we're moving and we're going to compete and that's the essence of the American way of life" (Li & Bailey, OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/7). More Davis: "In this country, you can put a Wendy's within two blocks of a McDonald's and you're allowed to do it. What's different about this?" On potential NFL opposition and the threat that they might demand "millions of dollars" as an approval fee, Davis said, "I've been through this before and I don't remember paying any money." Davis said he would consent to a vote of NFL owners "if it was carried out in good faith" (Carl Steward, OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/7). Davis seemed to avoid the issue of why he is moving back to the place he left thirteen years ago, saying, "There's no one phrase that can be taken out and simplified. You want to make it simple, and it's not that simple" (Ann Killion, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/7). WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: In the latest issue of THE SPORTING NEWS, Bob Glauber writes that history will show the Rams' and Raiders' moves from the L.A. to be "one of the most constructive events the league could have imagined. ... Fans and politicians in cities facing similar situations will do what it takes to make sure it doesn't happen to them" (THE SPORTING NEWS, 7/10 issue). ESPN's Mike Tirico noted Davis' speech was "right off the NFL films archives" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 7/6).