The Oakland Raider organization knows it, the players know it, and even the fans know it: The media and the Raiders do not have the best relationship in the world.
Long-time Raiders principal owner Al Davis has a very, very small circle of trust, and does not let the media access anyone within that circle.
Davis has his team on lockdown when it comes to letting reports leak out about the Raiders, yet the media still tries to get in, and "reports" news from sources. A lot of the time those reports are so far off, you wonder how these guys can even call themselves reporters.
The media has a huge impact on how the public perceives people. A perfect example is politics. The most recent presidential election between President Obama and Senator John McCain was almost covered as much as a receiver lining up against Nnamdi Asomugha.
If you watched Fox News, McCain was portrayed as conservative man with moral values, who would protect our country from all evils, while Obama was depicted as a liberal, who was all talk, and had no idea how to protect the country.
However, if you tuned to CNN, President Obama was the young, smart man that gave the nation hope at a time of crisis, and had the right agenda to lead us out of this economic slump, while McCain was the war mongering old man, who wanted nothing but oil, and wanted the rich to get richer.
Both men had their separate agendas, and would have done well in office regardless of what either media station was saying.
The media has a huge influence on the people's opinions, even though the people don't actually know what is going on. Everyone has made their opinions on the health care bill, and depending on what news station you watch, your opinion is strong against it, or strong for it.
While I doubt anyone has read the 2,000-page bill, they still have an opinion based on how the media describes it.
Fox News was not for Obama, and now all you get is mostly negativity about President Obama from the network. President Obama supposedly even wanted to ban Fox News from attending interviews at the White House because of all the negativity.
The same can be said about the sports media, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that it has been quick to put out negative reports about Russell, who is a Davis guy.
Davis has tried banning members of the media before. What is surprising is how much Raider fans eat it up, despite knowing the media like to bash on the Raiders because of their lack of access to the team.
It's no secret Russell struggled last year, but any young QB would have struggled with injuries along the offensive line, his favorite wide receiver out for 10 weeks, and having two rookies starting.
If you listen to the media, none of that mattered because Russell didn't care, or he has no work ethic, or he can't read coverages. People continue to listen to the media, which has an obvious bias towards the Raiders, and ignore the positive things about their players and coaches.
Have you ever noticed that the 2005 No. 1 overall pick on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge is not getting any heat, even though he has failed to deliver like a top pick after five years?
Many people are quick to say it's Russell's contract, and all he cares about is the money, which is why he held out. Where did these people get their information? Oh yea, the media.
The following is a quote from Yahoo Sports that was made about Russell's holdout, and how it was actually the Raiders who were the issue, not Russell and his desire for money.
"This could go to September, easily, with the way the Raiders have approached it," a source said. "Their approach has been from the start of this that it's their way or the highway. They were told before the (NFL) draft that if that's how they wanted to do it, they shouldn't draft (Russell) … Look, this could be done in two days if they'd just realize it's not going to happen the way they think."
The holdout wasn't Russell, and it wasn't about the money. If you want someone to blame about his contract size, blame the NFL and their structure, or blame the Raiders, because they were warned about the contract that would be due to a No. 1 QB.
A highly drafted quarterback is always going to get the biggest contract. This year the Rams were forced to take Sam Bradford because of the amount of money that was going to be paid to No. 1 pick.
Raiders' player Mario Henderson recently tweeted that Russell is a good player, and the media is what makes him look bad. Where were the reports on that? The media is quick to report other tweets.
Louis Murphy said in a recent television interview that Russell is working out with the team and leading them. Where was that?
Crticize all you want and believe what you want, but the bias is there, and it's creating the wrong perception of a young man, who wants nothing more than to help lead the Raiders out of the Black Hole they've been in since 2002— not 2007.
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