Al Davis, the Oakland Raiders Hall of Fame owner, died Saturday, Oct. 8 at the age of 82.
Davis developed a reputation for being a controversial owner because he often played by his own rules. His cantankerous personality resonated with his football teams as the Raiders were often the NFL renegades on the field.
Davis utilized a hands-on approach to every aspect of his football teams by controlling the front office and even calling plays on the football field.
However, Davis broke racial and gender barriers by hiring the NFL’s first black coach (Art Shell); the first latino (Tom Flores); and the first female CEO (Amy Trask).
Shell served as the Raiders head coach twice and paved the way for diversity in the NFL during a time when the league coaching hires were all white. Davis once told reporters that he saw himself as the underdog and admired Jackie Robinson.
Davis recently hired Hue Jackson, who is one of six black coaches in the NFL.