August 25, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis (left) and general manager Reggie McKenzie (right) watch before the game against the Detroit Lions at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Should We Care That Mark Davis Fired His PR Director?

When we think of overreaching authority, the NSA or Jerry Jones may come to mind.

So might the Davis family, in particular the late Al Davis, whose repeated (and impatient) personnel missteps since Super Bowl XXXVII dismantled the Raiders.  His son and current owner, Mark Davis, may have inherited his swollen ego based by a recent development.

On June 1 Davis fired media relations director Zak Gilbert, who was trusted by general manager Reggie McKenzie and began work a year ago.  Reports hinted his dismissal was due to his input provided in an April Sports Illustrated article which had portrayed the elder and junior Davis in an unflattering light.

At first impression, Davis seems to be channeling his father and flexing muscle to shape the team to his preferences.

But the more we get to know Davis, the more we realize he is nothing like his Hall of Fame dad (which is a good thing, if you’ve been paying any attention for the past decade).

He doesn’t possess the football instincts of his old man, but Davis recognizes his limitations, which is why the owner appointed a defined G.M., a first in Silver and Black history.  Unlike Al, who habitually confided in himself, Mark reached out to ex-Raiders John Madden and Ron Wolf in 2011 to help steer the franchise before settling with McKenzie.

“Reggie understands why I made the decision I made,” Davis told the San Jose Mercury News when asked about Gilbert’s removal.  “I’ve got to give him room to do his job.”

The quote leads us to ponder, is canning the man your G.M. hired not intruding into his personal space?

Not so if you’re the boss writing the checks, and the employee cashing them is mucking up your name.

Davis went on to tell the newspaper that slandering the Raiders’ and his father’s legacy will not be tolerated, so a hard line has been drawn.  Until McKenzie, Dennis Allen or Charles Woodson mouth off on the organization, we should expect their positions to be safe.

Understand that P.R. directors come and go in every industry so often that it’s not big news.  My only advice to Davis is to change his hairdo if he cares about the franchise’s perception.

Tags: Al Davis Fired Mark Davis Oakland Raiders Zak Gilbert

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