Amy Trask of the Oakland Raiders: The Toughest and 1st Female CEO in the NFL
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When then-coach Al Davis first came to the Oakland Raiders in 1963, he had a dream to make the Raiders an elite organization—an organization that would set the mark in all areas of football. This mark of superiority would show in all aspects of the silver and black, beginning with the Raiders' first appearance in the Super Bowl and extending to being the first NFL team to hire a minority coach and even the NFL's first female CEO, Amy Trask.
We are all familiar with the saying that "Behind every great man, there's a great woman." Well, this is certainly the case in regards to Davis and his right-hand apprentice Trask. There are millions of Oakland Raiders fans who can name all the players, the game stats and so much more than even this writer could list. Now ask your everyday Raider fan who is Trask and what is her purpose with the Silver and Black, and you might be shocked that few really know.
Well, Raider Nation, this article is about the NFL's first female CEO: Amy Trask.
To begin with, Trask is an all-around California girl. She did her undergrad work UC Davis; no pun intended. She then attended Cal Berkeley, where she studied law. Since her days at UC Berkeley, she began loving football and became an Oakland Raiders fan. She was raised in a home where football was out of the picture.
In 1983, she had the opportunity to do an internship for Al Davis. She was in graduate school in Southern California, and she soon desired to become a part of the Oakland Raiders organization.
Trask is most certainly a doer. Similar to Davis, she used her drive and motivation to mold her career. Trask made this statement a few years back:
"If you can find an internship or entry-level position with a team—even if you feel it is not as advanced as you like—take that opportunity. Use that position to demonstrate your work ethic, passion and commitment to the team."
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With her mind set and willing to take challenges, Trask completed her law degree in political science in 1985. She was working for a law firm in the Los Angeles area at the time. But then came the big break, and she became part of the Raiders organization when Davis hired her in 1987.
One remarkable talent for Davis is his ability to spot talent. Trask is a remarkable woman. She joined Davis' legal staff and began fighting battles for the Raiders off the field. And for those of us fans who have been there since the start, Davis has had a lot of legal battles against the NFL. Yet, he seems to always come out on top. One reason for that is...Amy Trask.
Amy obviously had been a standout in the legal department, because in 1997, Davis made history when he hired Amy to become the first female CEO in NFL history. Davis has always been the "Maverick " of the NFL. He is also fair to all races and sexes.
Trask put in some serious work for Davis. Long nights, days and even years, but she has diligence, intelligence and above all else is her spirit. She will speak up when she needs to and will speak up in a room of men to make her point—all of which are assets that Davis loved.
Anytime you see Davis, chances are CEO Amy Trask is right there. One huge asset for Amy is that she also keeps the Oakland Raider family together. She has strong ties with past Raider legends. Names like Jim Otto, Lester Hayes, Ben Davidson...I could go on, but we all know the legendary players both alive and deceased. Amy has been a part of all their lives, and because of it, is a perfect CEO for the Silver and Black.
In fact, the Raiders are the only ream in the NFL that keeps close ties to all of its former players. This is why the Raiders are an elite organization. We all know the saying: "Once a Raider, Always a Raider." This is true, and Amy keeps the saying alive.
In recent news and rumors, Anschults had been offering teams to become a part of Los Angeles. In other words, the Raiders could go back to Los Angeles; however, there was small print, and Trask quickly closed the door to rumors of a Raider move back to L.A. She is very educated, straightforward and can be intimidating when the need arises. So when the offer was made, Trask replied NO SALE.
Her actual words were, "The team is not for sale. It will remain with the Davis family." The statement itself was issued through senior executive John Herrera.
Trask is by far a true Oakland Raider. It's nice to see her by Al's side, because for the Raider Nation, we know she is giving Al the best legal advice, and above all, she is looking to keep the integrity of the Raiders organization. Amy Trask is a wonderful woman and proves that women can succeed as men do and even get farther than most.
This is to you, Amy. Thanks for being there.
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