Al Davis, Oakland Raiders Owner, Dead at 82

Al Davis, the long-time owner of the Oakland Raiders, passed away this morning at the age of 82. Davis had been with the Raiders for 48 years. He celebrated 28 winning seasons and three Super Bowls with the team

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement:

“Al Davis’s passion for football and his influence on the game were extraordinary. He defined the Raiders and contributed to pro football at every level. The respect he commanded was evident in the way that people listened carefully every time he spoke. He is a true legend of the game whose impact and legacy will forever be part of the NFL.”

A team official confirmed that Al Davis passed away Saturday morning. But further details are not available at this time.

Davis was one of the most influential people in the NFL. Davis, who was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992, helped to diversify off-field talent. According to the Associated Press, Davis hired Art Shell, the first black head coach, in 1988. He hired Tom Flores, the first Latino coach, and Amy Trask, the first woman CEO.

In a short Biography on the Raiders website, the team describes Al Davis’ career and his impact on the game. The biography reads:

“Based on personal achievement, team achievement and contributions to the game, no one has had a more profound and lasting impact on professional football.”

Here’s a short tribute to Al Davis.

The Oakland Raiders will face the Houstan Texans this Sunday in Texas. Will “Raider Nation” be able to forge ahead without their general Al Davis?