Raiders provide a different view of the Black Hole

The recent ugliness between 49ers and Raiders fans has prompted plenty of criticism of those who root for Oakland’s NFL team, even though the incident occurred at Candlestick Park.  CEO Amy Trask spoke out last week against efforts to paint with a broad brush those who may be inclined to paint their faces silver and/or black.

Trask has now circulated a series of photos showing fans with family members and babies enjoying Sunday night’s game against the Raiders.

“Now, those of you who regularly attend our home games know that this is not aberrational — it is the norm,” Trask wrote in an e-mail to the media. “That said, in light of the recent attention on the family friendly nature of sports facilities, I thought it important to send some new photographs — from our most recent game.

“None of these pictures were taken in our Club Sections or our Suites — these are fans throughout the stadium, enjoying time with family and friends — no matter the age, and no matter the team of choice.  We all know that perception is not always consistent with reality — please use these photographs when helping others form opinions — and please remember that our commitment to a safe, secure, fun and family friendly environment is unwavering.”

It will be difficult to quickly overcome decades of images of menacing Raiders fans dressed in intimidating garb.  But these images definitely provide a different context.

That said, the kid with the red hair looks like he could do mess some people up.  Then again, he’s wearing a Saints jersey.

78 responses to “Raiders provide a different view of the Black Hole

  1. That little kid in the bottom right looks like Colt Brennan after he got cut by the Raiders last year.

    Wait a minute, that IS Colt Brennan, oh snap!

  2. The red head kid says “WTF, you drug me away from COD for this crap”

    All I see is a group of young fans learning just how lame the stadium experience is, and how much better the game is on TV(s).

  3. The title of this article has:

    *insert joke here*

    …written all over it. Well played, sir.

  4. They sent out pictures of Saints fans to prove how sweet and lovable Raiders fans are?

    What planet is CEO Amy Trask from, and are the aliens going to take Raider Nation back home with them any time soon?

  5. It’s a bit narrow minded and ignorant to blame an entire fan base for the actions of one or a few. while people rarely get heralded for behaving, the majority still do.

  6. “It will be difficult to quickly overcome decades of images of menacing Raiders fans dressed in intimidating garb”

    There’s nothing intimidating about a grown man in silver makeup.

  7. lol Amy Trask is trying hard, too hard. for those who have been to the Coliseum, you know what its like. half empty stadium with many people there more focused on starting altercations and getting drunk than actually caring about whats happening on the field.

  8. Look . I know we get a lot of bad press but as a season ticket holder, I can say the dumb fans that act up during the game are generally not season ticket holders. They are the dumb fans that buy a $25 ticket or get a free ticket from someone else and think because they are at a Raider game they need to yell raaaiderrrrrs and pick fights with other fans and live up to this myth about the black hole. Remember if you go the games, ACT LIKE YOU BEEN THERE BEFORE. Don’t think just because you’re at the game you can act like a fool or supposed to act like a fool!!

    Another way to look at it is the Demographics of the area. The bay area is not a cheap place to live so the majority of the season ticket holders are probably working professionals with a decent surplus of money to buy these tickets to begin with. They are most likely not professional criminals with no jobs. I can’t tell you how many different types of professionals and downright good people I have tailgated next to at these games.

    I know some people will pile on cause it’s the raiders but Amy Trask is right.. its unfair to label us because of some stupid fans…. And if you pile on the raiders still its probably because your one of those stupid fans im talking about.

  9. since the media only knows how to report negative stuff on al davis/raiders, what else would one belive.

    For years the raiders have had the kids zone on the east side, and for years my kids have enjoyed the raiders game, except they just want to know when are they going to win.

    as far as the guy talking about changes since 2008, i think he meant 1998.

  10. Sorry. Had season tickets for a few years. Got tired of:
    Drunk obnoxious fans.

    Having tough guys look at me like they want to throw down because they bumped into me.

    Walking 1 mile across the freeway through a lot full of broken glass after spending $30.00 to park in mud.

    Having to leave early during every loss to miss the drunken bad attitudes on the way out.

    Having to pay top dollar for decent seats to watch generally bad football in an absolute dump of a stadium.

    It’s easy to paint a picture that’s good or bad with a small select sample.

    The truth is in the middle

  11. Kind of funny that the picture in the article, behind the “happy family” is some huge dude in a black vest looking like he’s trying to if not already started something.

  12. I was at the Raiders vs. Steelers game at the L.A. Coliseum back in 1990 when a Steeler fan got beat unconscious.

    In separate incidents I have seen Raider “fans” sucker punch a middle aged woman in a Bubby Brister jersey and also (against the Broncos) a 10-year-old kid in a John Elway jersey.

    I will always hate the Raiders and their fans with a white hot hatred that never dies.

    Every game they lose brings a smile to my face. I usually root AFC all the way through the Super Bowl but the last time the Raiders were there I had to root for Tampa Bay.

  13. And let’s not forget about the other hurdle she has to overcome. Even without the imminent threat of violence, that stadium is a toilet! I grew up going to A’s games there and have a lot of good memories, but that place really sucks!

  14. willisaldon9952 says:
    Aug 29, 2011 2:23 PM
    Not when they play the 49ers, ive been to plenty of 49ers Raiders games and both 49er fans and Raiders fans are dumb sorry just sayin’.


    Ok, if they’re sooo dumb why do you continue to go to their games?!? Riddle me that…

  15. I attended a game in Oakland last December. At the time the Raiders were sitll in the playoff hunt. I sat in the Black Hole.

    I didn’t see any fights. I didn’t see anything but a bunch of Raider fans enjoying themselves. Sure, there was a lot of yelling at the opposing team, and sure, there was a lot of yelling at the guys in the stripes. I was high-fived and hugged by people I had never met before. It was absolute bedlam by fans who truly love their team.

    Two Bronco fans even came down into the Black Hole before the game and had their pictures taken in the infamous Black Hole. Sure there may have been some good natured ribbing, but they were treated very well. They got their picture and left with smiles on their faces.

    The fact is that fights occcur in every NFL stadium every Sunday. Put 50,000 to 75,000 people together in close quarters, serve alcohol, and you will have some fights among people who are drunk.

    And yes, when I went to the Black Hole, I saw children, women and a lot of great fans. Good people.

  16. I know it’s not all Raider fans, but the stigma of “the black hole” has become that the lowlives aspire to fulfill. There isn’t any room for buddying up to opposing teams fans when you have to maintain your “image”.

    This can not be repeated enough, however I would fear more for my life in Oakland than I would in say, Philly or NY.

    In Dallas I’d just feel sorry for their fans because they’re delusional thinking that they’re better than they really are “WE GOT 5 RINGS BUDDY!” Yeah, before Free Agency became the norm. Oh and by the way, what have you done for me lately?

  17. @citizenstrange
    you do realize that that kind of stuff has happened at 31 other stadiums in the NFL too right? its not just the raiders. that being said it seems to me like trask is fighting for her job. during the lockout coaches and staff were required to sell season tickets or take a pay cut. and now with the family outting stuff at the colliseum

  18. Clever tactic Amy. Have RaiDuh security take family photos before the games start, so they can easily identify the bodies after the game.

  19. Ilovefoolsball
    “Yeah, before Free Agency became the norm.”

    So if they couldn’t sign free agents, they drafted well…good point

  20. I am sure there are decent Raiders fans out there, and it is tough for them that the bad ones give them a bad name, but let’s be honest stereotypes are generally given for a reason. When you see this kind of violence year in and year out and usually coming from the same groups of fans, sometimes you just gotta call it what it is. Dodgers fans are exactly the same, so it’s not just the bay area.

  21. My husband and I were there for playoff game. We were too afraid to wear our team’s garb. We almost got beat up by gang members anyway.

  22. LOL! Not even Barack Obama can spin the Black (A)Hole into something positive and he’s the spin freakin master! Love the fact that the organization felt compelled to release photos and tell us what a wonderful place this is. Classic!

  23. It’s not the Raiders stadium that’s the problem. It’s at away games that rogue Raider fans cause havoc. You can ask San Diego about how much more security it requires when the Raiders play there. I would also bet that the Raider fans that cause problems there are NOT Raider season ticket holders.
    Last year at the AZ Cardinal game, they had to close off one end of the stadium in order to hold all the Raider fans that had been arrested. I’m talking at least 50.

  24. LMFAO OMG im sorry but this whole email just made me laugh, “please use these photos when forming an opinion about our fans,” hahahaha. Just pathetic just like the raiders and their fans.

  25. Amending my earlier post, I’ll agree that the fans in the black hole are good people from what I know. Most of them are true football fans who have had their tickets for years and treat each other like family.

    The rest of the stadium, not so much.

  26. Nice Try King Amy, we are not easily manipulated.

    Please go home and take of the kids.

    Raider fans are not “Gingerbread” people.

    You may find a few law abiders, BUT THE MAJORITY are ruthless.

  27. I’ve seen the Bears play in 35 different stadiums over the past 33 years. Oakland is the ONLY stadium that my wife & I have EVER felt unsafe. Eagle fans may chant “*sshole, *sshole.” & Packer fans may chant “the Bears still s*ck,” but was never threaten and never had anything throw at me in Philly or Green Bay. While Tailgating in Oakland, a group of Raiders “fans” said they were going to kill me, another guy said our car would be destroyed while we were inside the game and my wife was hit in the leg with a beer bottle. No issues inside the stadium (because we took our jerseys off in the parking lot & wore solid t-shirts). Other Bear fans inside weren’t as lucky.

  28. @thespeaker08

    Note: Picture taken when score was still 7 – 7.

    if you actually looked at the picture you’d notice that its the 3rd quarter… last time i checked the score was higher then 7-7 at that time

  29. Wow I post something that is fact and shows the complete opposite of what many in the Media try to paste on the Raiders and their Fans as folks that have never missed a Home Game in Oakland and it is not posted on your site.

  30. okay, i have read all of these posts and all i can say is WOW! 3 of my friends forwarded this link to me because that is me in the picture to the right. i am a season ticket holder in the BLACK HOLE and have been for several years. i have NEVER been in a fight at a game at home or away although i have seen my share. i want to set the record straight since most of you people dont have a clue what you are talking about. there are bad apples in every barrel but not all riaders fans are ruthless criminals. i have front row seats and i let 5 small saints fans come up front and have fun. the little redheaded one was hilarious, but there were no security around us and i didnt see a single fight in the stands. yes there is always trash talking and yes sometimes the alcohol aka liquid courage can aid in creating violence, but it is rare to see actual violence in the Black Hole. the closest i ever came to a problem was some raider fan up above the black hole not even a season ticket holder throwing something at a bengals fan and i defended the bengal! so dont act like we are all bad! im sick of people categorizing all of us like we are all outlaws. i was at the san francisco game as i am every year, and i have NEVER seen so many fights at any football game anywhere! out of the 13 fights i witnessed first hand only 2 involved raiders. the rest were 49ers against 49ers and it had nothing to do with football! the press didnt say it, but it was mostly gang related! the hispanic norteno and sureno gangs were fighting, not football fans! yet the raiders still get the blame as always. now thats pathetic!

  31. pft can post anything “raiders” and it will get 50+ replies. about 20% of them will be the haters, spewing their nonsense like they know something about the raiders, only to return to their team page only to be lonely
    yes i mean you dumbotl, sourdough sweetcheeks, ampats (as long as tom brady is alive, bigtex, niner anything, jack, etc….and all the other haters……

    keep coming back, i need humour with your nonsense.

  32. @a1ortega says:
    Aug 29, 2011 3:14 PM
    My husband and I were there for playoff game. We were too afraid to wear our team’s garb. We almost got beat up by gang members anyway.

    playoffs, i guess you haven’t been to a game in quite awhile.

  33. I think drunkenness and stupid fan behavior is a problem every where. I have attended NFL, NHL, CFL, NBA, MLB, F1 and NASCAR events at dozens of stadiums, arenas and ballparks throughout North America including Chicago, Toronto, New York, Boston, Detroit, Buffalo and others (although not yet Philly or Oakland).

    I can assure you I have seen horrible behavior at almost every event and yet I have never felt threatened in any city or any sporting venue.

    However, the key is to avoid those sections of the stadium that attract the morons in the first place (every venue has one or more of those areas) and to play nice. I don’t act like a jerk-off when I am in the hometown of a team and keep my business to myself. As a result I have enjoyed hundreds of sporting events over the years and never been in so much as a shouting match never mind had my car trashed, my life threatened, etc.

    Now, if you really want to feel safe, go to the orchestra or theatre, pretty sure there are no gangs there, maybe only the occasional drunk driver and certainly no fights. At least according to what is – or isn’t – reported on the news.

  34. one more comment as if the first wasnt longwinded enough…
    i admit that there are several raiders fans that are bad news, but there are several that are great people. my taigate crew is currently geting together a charity event for ronald mcdonald house. i lead a group of ladies who are raider fans and we do off season events that are for families and include small children. so stop hating so much and trying so despaerately to make it seem like the raiders fans are all bad, seems like NFL racism to me!

  35. feldman9000 says:Aug 29, 2011 4:01 PM


    was that the game where the raiders scored 58? If so or course that area will be good.

    feldman the raiders beat the broncos last season in denver with a score of 59. and yes we swept the entire division. check your facts please before spouting off and showing how intelligent you are NOT!

  36. i think this should be a raider hater blog… not a general blog! lol. but its all good, ignorance is bliss. keep believeing the media hype and living in your fantasy worlds. we will keep enjoying our raider games and comradery for those of us that are real Raider fans not people looking for any excuse to get drunk and start problems. when you people are ready to look at the truth, you will open your eyes and see it. until then… peace and GO RAIDERS!!!!

  37. It’s easy enough to be on good behavior at a pre-season game against a non-rival like the Saints in front of only 25,000 people. It’s another thing entirely when the Chiefs, Broncos, Chargers, and Steelers are playing there.

    As a Steeler fan the decline of the Raiders saddens me. The Raiders were once of the GREAT franchises in the NFL. They were innovative, played fierce football, and had intensely passionate fans. Now they play in an absolute dump of a stadium (hopefully they will move to the new stadium in Santa Clara and share it with the 49ers), and the game has completely passed Al Davis by. Davis was once an elite football mind, now he’s just a complete joke, stomping on his own legacy every week in an ever changing track-suit.

    The Raiders have some absolutely insufferable fans, but the majority are good people. It’s unfair to tar and feather an entire fan base, but Oakland is not a safe place to watch a football game if you happen to be rooting for the wrong team.

  38. It would have been better to not show a photo with the big guy in the background to the left of the woman getting ready to throw down.

    That said, I had season tickets for 5 years and sat in the section next to the Black Hole. The fans there were rough. The Denver Bronco fan who wears a barrell once had the guts to sit in the Black Hole section and was protected by the fans there from fellow Raiders fans wanting to start a fight. I have seen plenty of other fights in the area.

  39. nomoreseasontix says:Aug 29, 2011 2:38 PM

    Sorry. Had season tickets for a few years. Got tired of:
    Drunk obnoxious fans.

    Having tough guys look at me like they want to throw down because they bumped into me.

    Having to leave early during every loss to miss the drunken bad attitudes on the way out.

    Having to pay top dollar for decent seats to watch generally bad football in an absolute dump of a stadium.

    It’s easy to paint a picture that’s good or bad with a small select sample.

    The truth is in the middle
    on behalf of real raider fans who are honest hard working decent people, im sorry your experiences were so bad. i get frustrated and tired of the drunken obnoxious fans too. but i am nore tired of everyone acting like the only fans that behave badly are raiders fans… not so.

    at every away game i have attended i ALWAYS see drunk and unruly fans fron the other teams. last year in KC the superfan x-factor sprayed raid on an old lady wearing a raiders jersey who was there with her kc fan husband. how awful is that? how downright disrespectful? in san diego last year a chargers fan called me names (which i can post here) and threw beer bottles at me because i had on my raiders jersey and carried my raiders flag. so please dont think it is just raiders fan that behave that way. and even tho you no longer are a season ticket holder, dont give up on our Oakland Raiders football team because it isnt their fault either.

  40. I’ve been to games at several NFL stadiums, including Oakland, and from what I have seen over the years, Raider fans are not even close to being the worst. Now I realize that my experience is only one game at each stadium, but by far the most unfriendly fans I’ve run across were located across the bay from Oakland in San Francisco. They even made Philly fans seem tame. Raider fans to me didn’t seem much different from most fans I have seen all over the country, passionate about their team. There may be a few bad seeds in the stands, but there are everywhere.

  41. It’s really sad to see all these people try to put a negative spin on anything that has to do with the Raiders. I mean really, do you hate the Raiders that bad, to where you have to start making stuff up. I seen where one guy commented and said he’d seen Raider fans sucker punch a middle-aged lady and then hit a kid for wearing a Brister jersey. What?? Come on guys, you don’t have to like them. But stop making crap up. It’s really pathetic.

  42. keeponhating says: Aug 29, 2011 2:58 PM

    you do realize that that kind of stuff has happened at 31 other stadiums in the NFL too right? its not just the raiders. that being said it seems to me like trask is fighting for her job. during the lockout coaches and staff were required to sell season tickets or take a pay cut. and now with the family outting stuff at the colliseum

    Save your breath, buddy. True as it may be, nobody likes to listen to reason when they can get into a nice lather instead. This argument has never worked for Philly fans, and it probably won’t work for you, either, I’m afraid.

  43. @ offdhook… Meeting fans like you at all the games I’ve been to was absolutely a high point.
    I didn’t mean to lump everyone together…

  44. Those parents should be arrested for child endangerment for taking their kids to a Raiders game!

    I happen to be an insider and know that Raiders home games average between 80 and 140 security incidents per game, far more than any other NFL venue. The Black Hole is actually relatively tame, it’s mostly in other areas and the locations are inconsistent from game to game. It’s not season ticket holders, but those who buy their seats for single games.

  45. Amy Trask is not going to put more people in the seats by portraying a clean image of the Raiders and their fans. in fact, shes kind of dumb for trying to change that outlook. Raider fans revel in their “bad” image and they have as many fans as they do based on this. they will always be the 49ers kid brother so why not portray the bad boy, different image. its called a niche, Ms Trask. take it and run with it.

    although with all this talk about the Coliseum being a wholesome place to watch a game and with all the Raider fans getting their butts kicked by 9er fans, maybe its the Raider fans who are now the “wine and cheese” fans…. 🙂

    when did the Raiders AND THEIR FANS/ FRONT OFFICE go soft? hmm.

  46. All those posting ‘scary’ bedtime stories about the Black Hole are a joke.

    Booze is the issue in any sporting/music event. The authorities need to be strong enough to ‘police’ who has had enough and eject trouble makers before trouble starts.

    Going to watch sport here in Australia with 60,000 to 100,000 I have never seen any issues but security is closeby and the police are quick to eject any trouble makers.

    NFL is a violent sport and unfortunately some fans want to continue that in the stands. I’m sure the majority of the time any NFL stadium is peaceful and safe.

  47. Ratpee1 says:Aug 29, 2011 4:58 PM

    A picture of two Bull daggers isn’t going to help the Raiders image.
    first of all i am NOT a bulldagger, maybe you are confused with the other side of the bay. second of all, haters like you are the reason the Raiders image is the way it is. because of your constant belittling hate that you spew from your piehole… most of which is unwarranted and i can bet that most of the scenarios on here are incorrect. i didnt see a single fight in the stands at the game against the saints, not a single one. and i DO sit in the black hole, and it has been several seasons before i actually saw i fight occur in the hole. so all of you haters need to check your facts. and yes at the coilseum there are plenty of police on staff along with coliseum security so actual fist fights are rare and when they occur they are over almost as soon as they start. i have to agree with many of you who are speaking rationally instead of just spewing hatred. alcohol is the main reason for most of the violence. perhaps if all day tailgating wasnt permitted, maybe the violence would decrease. maybe if they stopped drunk fans from entering the stadiums and were ejected from parking lots some of the violence would cease. maybe if the media told the truth instead of blaming issues like the 49er game violence on raider fans, the general public might see us for who we REALLY are. the 49ers game violence was gang related, NOT football related, and not raider related. i found it amusing that the tv showed raider fans in the fights when almost all of the fights were 49er vs 49er. ask anyone who was there! im tired of the lies, ignorance and hatred.

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