Gilbert takes high road in response to his termination


Raiders owner Mark Davis has decided to fire the team’s P.R. director, a year after new G.M. Reggie McKenzie hired him.  Gilbert, in response to a move that many in the NFL media are criticizing, has opted for the high road.

Here’s his statement, which has appeared elsewhere but which he specifically forwarded to PFT:  “I’d like to thank Mark Davis for the honor of serving the Raiders, and Reggie McKenzie for hiring me. I leave holding my chin up, knowing I dedicated every waking hour to promoting a positive image for our team. The co-workers in my Raiders family are extraordinary; the camaraderie we built was really special. Talking to Raiders fans on a weekly basis, I learned first-hand that their passion and loyalty is unmatched. I have great respect for the team’s history and took seriously the role of preserving it. Although disappointed that I can’t remain on the ride, I wish Reggie and Dennis Allen absolutely nothing but success in a bright future.”

According to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, owner Mark Davis wasn’t pleased with the manner in which he and his late father, Al, were portrayed in an April Sports Illustrated item about the current state of the franchise.  After twice reviewing the entire article, a thorough and well-written analysis from Jim Trotter, I still couldn’t find anything about which Mark Davis fairly should have been upset.

Indeed, he met with Trotter and gave Trotter quotes — quotes in which Mark Davis admits that it ultimately was his decision to trade for Carson Palmer, and in which Mark Davis admits to having no expertise regarding football operations.  Unless Gilbert promised Mark Davis that it would be a puff piece and that Trotter wouldn’t use anything Davis said that remotely could be construed as embarrassing or negative (which almost never happens), Davis has no legitimate beef with Gilbert.

Mark Davis is 57, and he’s been around football long enough to know that when someone speaks on the record, anything they say can and will be used against him, especially if it helps craft a compelling story.

The only nugget about the late Al Davis that seemed potentially inflammatory came from an unsourced account of an agent taking advantage of a coughing attack to inflate when discussions resumed the agreed amount of a player’s guaranteed money by $1 million.  Given the current legal entanglements being experienced by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, the agent in question could in theory be prosecuted for fraud.  (We’re only partially kidding.)

Still, that information doesn’t make Al Davis look bad.  It makes him look sympathetic, something that rarely happened during his tenure as the team’s owner.

Mark Davis seems to be on that same path.  In the Trotter article, Mark Davis makes it clear that, beyond G.M. Reggie McKenzie, no one is safe.  Gilbert found that out recently, and if Tafur’s report regarding the reason is true, Raiders fans should get ready for plenty more dysfunction in the coming years.

28 responses to “Gilbert takes high road in response to his termination

  1. Damn..even the PR Guy gets no love. That should fix the Raiders problems for sure!

  2. Interesting.

    Even more curious after the Amy Trask resignation.

    I want her to write an inside story, no holds barred account of her tenure with the Raiders and her experiences with Al Davis.

    That would be a good read for those who would be inclined.

  3. I don’t understand why all the stories on this? The first story was moderately interesting, but this just seems like piling on.

    I don’t know much about Mark Davis and he very well may be a Tommy Boy, but he seems to have the good sense to leave the football operations to experienced people like Reggie and company.

    Yes it does suck that he fired Amy Trask, she was well liked and it would be great if there were more women on the business side of the NFL, but lets be honest, the Raiders have ranged between average to awful for the last 10 years, I don’t think you can say anyone in that organization is unfireable.

  4. The attention this is getting is odd. He’s the PR guy, and has no influence on wins and losses.

    Makes me think a bunch of media are upset they are losing their source.

  5. The Raiders would be better off if Al Davis had done like Jack Kent Cook and NOT left the team to his kid.

  6. Never have I seen such an uproar over the firing of a PR guy. Really? Was he responsible for the four wins last season? Was he the only hope for the Raiders to winning any games this season? Is this what kind of news we look for when Tim Tebow isn’t doing anything. I will say this, you media guys stick together. There’s something to be said for that. Oh and I don’t care if you don’t post this. I know you read it and that’s all that matters…

  7. You guys ban the use of the word panties but not excrement? sports writers are some of the most sensitive pansies.

  8. Mullman, your amy trash bio would read like this. She started with the organization as a copy girl, ended up eating the right skin flavored sausage and got promoted to head of public relations. Id love to read the details myself!

  9. I’m a proud Buffalo Bills fan who’s replies on this site nowadays seem to have to defend both my team AND the city I call home from inaccurate information, not just other responders, but from it’s misinformed reporters as well. The same media that Keyser Soze refers to above. My replies apparently aren’t posted anymore on this site either. God I hate the current state of reporting.

  10. Raiders under 5.5 wins might be the biggest no brainer on the futures boards right now. Get it while you can. It’ll probably move to 4 by Sept.

  11. Adam Sphenkter may not have anything better to do than worry about the Raiders PR guy, but the Raiders sure do. BTW if Al Davis was made to look sympathetic in the press, that’s bad. How do you not get that?

  12. That SI article was a well written article, and it did seem to be written fairly. If anything, it spelled out a roadmap for hope and future success.

    If this PR guy got fired for the piece going to print, it is shameful on the part of Mark Davis.

  13. You fail to see the light that is Reggie McKenzie. there will be no dysfunction in Oakland anymore. Just wishful thinking of the haters who are sadly mistaken and will be disappointed when we are the most improved team of the year and dominate next year.

  14. Did any of you read the SI article? At least Mike did and I only got to the second page so far and I can see why Mark Davis would not be happy at all, with all apologies to to Mike’s viewpoint on it. I read it as a scathing indictment on Al Davis and his out-of-touch last years as owner of the Raiders and Mark’s handling of the aftermath until the new GM McKenzie took over, at least for the first two pages. Free agent and draft busts galore, no draft board(!), no pre-draft scouting services or psych testing used, no scouting questionnaires for evaluating college prospects, out dated video software, what a mess. Al Davis is not unique in holding on for dear life to the only business, success and life he knew. But to keep any business alive in this day and age one can’t afford to hold on until your time is gone. No, Mark Davis, I believe, would not be happy at all about that article as it paints him as asleep at the wheel until the new GM he hired and how it makes him look more like the continuation of his dysfunctional dad than he would care to admit. No wonder he fired the gatekeeper to the corporate message.

  15. As a Bronco fan articles like this are music to my ears… Its like KNOWING your worst enemy is in the gutter and CANT GET OUT…lol
    11 years without a winning record and counting…

  16. “anything they say can and will be used against him, especially if it helps craft a compelling story.”

    Speaks a great deal to the character of those who
    write them…

  17. Dude’s sending out the S.O.S. signal in the statement with the “Reggie McKenzie hired me” part to let you clueless Raider fans who keep eating all the “new regime can do no wrong” lovefest up.

    Fact is, this guy’s an amateur, McKenzie is the nicest man but in over his head, and he’s already torn down the good things that his father finally pulled together enough energy in his final days despite holding on too long (well, look who he would have been turning things over to and you understand why).

    Now, you have nothing, the last coach he hand picked is gone, a promising young roster on offense is gone, and the new guys can’t find their butts from their face as evidenced by taking an ascendant offense and turning it into amongst the league’s worst overnight.

  18. PFT allows filthy comments and denies legitimate ones. And we’re supposed to be sympathetic towards journalists (or should I say “journalists?)?

  19. It’s a slow time for NFL news, leave it to Mike to drum up anything he can to try and create a news story and credibility. Mike Florio always uses the Raiders to create an issue or story when nothing else exist.

    What can honestly be taken from this…..
    1) No news on the Tim Tebow front.
    2) Mike can not come up with a way to poke fun of JaMarcus Russell.
    3) Pat White has already signed with a team.
    4) No other West Virginia Mountaineer players are creating news.
    5) Nothing positive is coming out of the Steelers camp. Mike Adams is recovering but we really don’t want to go there.

    This smells like Mike is trying to drum up interest for another writer, one that might just throw him a bone down the line if the spin is correct.

  20. Sigh, just when we thought Jurrah Jones took over Al’s spot as the most meddling and clueless owner…

  21. Like all PR guys, this guy is a complete tool. Why does he need to release a statement? He’s not the head coach or GM. He’s not even a long time employee. Remaining silent publicly would’ve been better. In NFL circles it would’ve been known if he was wronged.

  22. don’t even know why raiders fan even try to post, because 80% of the comments proobaly get weeded out. Lets get to the bottom line. Silver, Kawakami, Nancy Gay, etc…are all or were covered the 49ers at one time or another.

    Trotter worked/ lives in San Diego where he covered the Chargers….in all reality these are people who lets just say do not root for the raiders, and although “hate’ is a strong word, their articles speak those words.

    As you put it a “thorough and well-written analysis from Jim Trotter” ….i have to disagree with you. He lost me on the first page, when he said davis would use his “bat phone” to call the sidelines, and tell the coach what play to call……really what game was this?

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