Randall Cunningham resigned as Raiders team chaplain after feeling unwanted by new regime

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Last month, former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham abruptly stepped down as the Raiders team chaplain. He didn’t elaborate on his decision at the time.

In an interview with Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the man who resurrected his career in Minnesota with a season for the ages in 1998 explained that he didn’t feel wanted by new Raiders coach Josh McDaniels.

“I kept calling and calling and calling, trying to contact the right officials to get the OK on what the direction was with Coach McDaniels, but it just went by, and finally I said, ‘I don’t think I’m needed here anymore,'” Cunningham told Tomasson. “He texted me one time and he said, ‘I’m looking forward to you and your involvement here. And I said, ‘Feel free to call anytime.’ And I never received a call back. And I just figured that was kind of like a sign for me it is time for me to move on.”

Cunningham explained that, during his time with the Vikings, the team chaplain played an important role.

“The players really need someone who is going to be like a brother, a father figure. Someone they can lean on and talk to outside of the organization, and that’s what we had in Minnesota,” Cunningham told Tomasson.

Cunningham had been hired by former Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who abruptly resigned after someone leaked the media grossly inappropriate emails Gruden had sent to former Washington executive Bruce Allen in 2011.

Cunningham, who served as the Raiders’ chaplain for two years, was a three-time Pro Bowler with the Eagles. After spending 1996 out of football, the Vikings brought him in as a backup. A broken leg suffered by Brad Johnson in Week Two of the 1998 season opened the door for Cunningham’s rebirth, with a 15-1 season and nearly a Super Bowl berth, thanks to an offense fueled by Hall of Fame receivers Randy Moss and Cris Carter, along with an underrated by highly-effective No. 3 option, Jake Reed.

Cunningham lost his starting job in Minnesota during the 1999 season, and he finished his career as a backup in Dallas in 2000 and Baltimore in 2001.

17 responses to “Randall Cunningham resigned as Raiders team chaplain after feeling unwanted by new regime

  1. Maybe the Raiders organization realized that if players want religious guidance, they can visit one of the many churches that grace every large city. I suspect having an on-site bible-thumper was a feature of the Gruden regime. Chucky loves his godly players, even if they can’t play. See Peterman, Nathan.

  2. I’m guessing McDaniels was a little busy at the time and Cunningham was not in the top 50 priorities when taking over a NFL franchise.

  3. Gosh a new head coach with a lengthy to do list texts you a very polite text, but has been focused on other things rather than polishing the team chaplains ego? Go figure.

    “Feel free to call anytime” and he didn’t call is not the same as “Please call me asap” and he didn’t call.

  4. It is NOT the job of the team to make the Chaplain ‘feel wanted’. Cunningham was hired as a ‘chaplain’, he is not a ‘leader’ or an ‘executive, nor is he the ‘Pope’. No one needs to kiss Cunningham’s backside, but apparently Cunningham needs the attention. I hear the XFL has openings for team chaplain, no drama queens though.

  5. First mistake by Josh McDaniels. He could lose a very important part of the team with this news getting out. No support for his religious players, there are alot of them. He doesnt have to believe, he just needs to provide support for those that do.

  6. More evidence of corruption and chaos at the core of the Rudderless Raiders sinking ship.

  7. Josh McDaniels is going to destroy the Raiders, little by little you will see this arr0gant pig continue to make a toxic culture when running a terrible playbook.

  8. If I had to work with Josh McDaniels, I would quit too! What a terrible organization that gets worse everyday!

  9. If your Chaplin quits you know that has to be one of the most hostile work environments on Earth. Congress should definitely investigate this unmitigated disaster in Vegas!

  10. Who knew Randall Cunningham, the scourge of Tecmo Bowl, would turn out to be the world’s biggest Karen?

  11. Football people are so sensitive and tender nowadays. Poor guy felt unwanted … awwwwww. Time to curl up in his safe space.

  12. The Raiders already have a pastor equivalent in Carr, and his opinions and spiritual advice probably carry more weight since he’s on the field playing alongside them!

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