Long time Oakland Raiders owner, Al Davis, 82, died on Saturday.
The NFL legend began his pioneering career some in the 1960s as assistant coach and was named a Pro Football Hall-of-Famer in 1992.
Davis died in his home on October 8. The cause of death has yet to be released.
“Al Davis’ passion for football and his influence on the game were extraordinary,” said Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner in a statement. “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.”
Well known for being a rebel, he was the man who established the identity of the silver and black. The pirate logoed team mirrored his attitude toward authority. Davis was one of the most important figures in NFL history, especially in the 80’s when he fought and won to have his team moved from Oakland to Los Angeles (only to move them back in 1995).
His death comes at a time where optimism fills the franchise. While the team has suffered seven straight losing seasons, they have started this year with two wins and two competitive losses.
Before the 21stcentury demise of the Raiders, Davis was a part of a winning team with the motto: “commitment to excellence.” The team won three Super Bowls during the 1970’s and 80’s and were in contention every other year. He oversaw teams who were full of misfits, but always seemed to get it together and prevail.
For all the wins Davis had, he was also a social pioneer. In 1988, he hired the second black head coach in Art Shell, the second Latino coach in Tom Flores and hired the first woman CEO, Amy Trask.
Back in April, reports leaked that Davis had been hospitalized, but the Raiders’ representatives revoked such rumors insisting he was in full health.