The city of Oakland lost the Raiders to Las Vegas this year, but there could be a new team coming to California city in the near future. A new report reveals that an African-American group of investors is looking to put an NFL team back in Oakland.
According to NBC Sports, “the African American Sports and Entertainment Committee sent a letter of intent to the NFL that it will formally file an application to acquire an expansion team in the East Bay.” If successful, this will be the first expansion team since the Houston Texans joined the NFL in 2002.
The timing of an all-Black ownership group in the city where the Black Panther Party was born seems especially notable. Since the police killing of George Floyd, America has seemed to take interest in not only equality between White and Black Americans when dealing with police, but equality in business and other opportunities that were not previously afforded to the Black community.
The location of the team is especially important to the Black community. Oakland is a city where 23 percent of its residents are Black and 26 percent are Hispanic or Latino according to the most recent Census data available. Any time an NFL team leaves a city, it also takes with it job opportunities that were afforded to people from the city.
CNN reported in 2017 that many poor residents in the city relied on the now-abandoned stadium to provide income. Not only were jobs lost, but community activists also fear that the team leaving could cause an influx of real estate opportunities forcing gentrification in the city. A new NFL team could ease that stress.
The Black ownership group would be the first African-Americans to own an NFL team. The last opportunity came in 2017 when P. Diddy wanted to buy the Carolina Panthers but eventually lost out to Hedge fund Billionaire David Tepper.