The Oakland Raiders are eventually going to become the Las Vegas Raiders, but the move itself won’t 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 it’s 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 Green’s advice and stop going to games in 2017, there’s always the possibility that the Raiders could spend the next few years playing in San Antonio. 

Here’s what Green said after the Warriors’ win over the Rockets on Tuesday, via CSN Bay Area:

“That’s crazy. I feel bad for the city of Oakland, man. I don’t even know how that’s going to work, honestly, with a football team moving to Las Vegas. I feel bad for the city. If I were the fans, I wouldn’t attend a game for the next three years. But that’s just me. That’s ridiculous. No way I’d pay my money to attend a game.

“That’s like moving the Dallas Cowboys or like moving the Packers. Like, moving the Raiders? You can move a lot of teams, but there aren’t many fanbases like the Raiders fanbase. It’s like moving the Boston Celtics from Boston or the Lakers from L.A. You just don’t move certain franchises with the fanbase that they have.

“So, it’s one thing if you’re moving them from Oakland to Fremont or something. But to Las Vegas? I wouldn’t attend a game. I won’t attend a game. And I’m not a diehard Raiders fan, but I do support the city of Oakland, so it ain’t for me. I feel like all fans should feel that way. You just don’t do that. C’mon, man. That’s ridiculous.”

So, before we go on, it’s worth noting two things that contradict Green’s stance:

  1. The Warriors are relocating from Oakland to San Francisco in 2019.
  2. The Raiders already moved from Oakland to Los Angeles and back to Oakland again.

Putting those two things aside, it’s 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 haven’t 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, I’m 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 Green’s perspective. Relocation sucks. Relocation sucks even more in this particular situation, because the Raiders aren’t even leaving immediately. Oakland isn’t 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.