Even beyond death the legacy of Al Davis continues to live on. Davis is set to receive the Paul “Tank” Younger Award this Friday in Indianapolis. Younger was the first African-American executive in the NFL and his award is given each year in honor of an individual who exhibits a commitment to racial and gender diversity
During his tenure as Raiders owner Davis was a trail blazer who personified diversity and civil rights within the NFL. In 1963, Davis refused to have his team play a game in Alabama because of segregation laws and demanded the game be moved to Oakland. In 1965, the AFL had slated an All-Star game to be played in New Orleans until Davis protested due to racial barriers still in effect in the city. The game was ultimately played in Houston.
Davis was also groundbreaking in his hiring practices, selecting Art Shell as the first Afican-American head coach in league history and also hiring Tom Flores as the second latino head coach. Flores and quarterback Jim Plunket, who is of mexican-american heritage, combined to win two Super Bowls for Davis.
Accepting the Award on the late owners’ behalf will be son, and current Raiders’ owner, Mark Davis