The Oakland Raiders are eventually going to become the Las Vegas Raiders, but the move itself wonât happen for a few more years. In the meantime, the Raiders will likely keep playing football in Oakland at the Coliseum, which is a bit awkward for everyone involved.
Will Oakland-based Raiders fans actually show up and support a team that already announced itâs leaving for another city in another state?
That remains to be seen, but if Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has his way, the fanbase will respond by boycotting Raiders games. And if fans really do follow Greenâs advice and stop going to games in 2017, thereâs always the possibility that the Raiders could spend the next few years playing in San Antonio.
âThatâs crazy. I feel bad for the city of Oakland, man. I donât even know how thatâs going to work, honestly, with a football team moving to Las Vegas. I feel bad for the city. If I were the fans, I wouldnât attend a game for the next three years. But thatâs just me. Thatâs ridiculous. No way Iâd pay my money to attend a game.
âThatâs like moving the Dallas Cowboys or like moving the Packers. Like, moving the Raiders? You can move a lot of teams, but there arenât many fanbases like the Raiders fanbase. Itâs like moving the Boston Celtics from Boston or the Lakers from L.A. You just donât move certain franchises with the fanbase that they have.
âSo, itâs one thing if youâre moving them from Oakland to Fremont or something. But to Las Vegas? I wouldnât attend a game. I wonât attend a game. And Iâm not a diehard Raiders fan, but I do support the city of Oakland, so it ainât for me. I feel like all fans should feel that way. You just donât do that. Câmon, man. Thatâs ridiculous.â
Draymond had strong feelings on the Raiders moving to Las Vegas - you'll want to listen to this pic.twitter.com/mdX0OMVeq1— CSN Warriors News (@CSNWarriors) March 29, 2017
So, before we go on, itâs worth noting two things that contradict Greenâs stance:
- The Warriors are relocating from Oakland to San Francisco in 2019.
- The Raiders already moved from Oakland to Los Angeles and back to Oakland again.
Putting those two things aside, itâs tough to disagree with him. Will anyone blame Raider fans in Oakland if they stop caring about the team before they depart for Vegas? Nobody should. If you havenât already, go read this story about the fans the Raiders are abandoning that CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora wrote earlier this week.
On the other hand, Iâm certainly not going to blame fans if they do support the Raiders during their remaining time in Oakland. After all, they stuck with the team through the past 15 or so years of ineptitude. They deserve to finally root for a contender, which the Raiders actually became this past season.
With that being said, as a native of Seattle who grew up with the Sonics and watched them leave for Oklahoma City, I tend to side with Greenâs perspective. Relocation sucks. Relocation sucks even more in this particular situation, because the Raiders arenât even leaving immediately. Oakland isnât getting the same closure St. Louis and San Diego got.
This really is the ugliest and messiest of breakups. And how the fans handle the split will certainly be something worth monitoring.