For the second time in less than a month, a top executive with the Oakland Raiders is on the way out as Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that owner Mark Davis has fired public relations director Zak Gilbert.
According to Tafur, Davis was not happy with how he and his late father Al Davis were portrayed in a Sports Illustrated article that was published in April. Tafur goes on to report that Gilbert has not been at the team's facility since the article came out, placed on a leave while Davis mulled his decision on Gilbert's future with the team.
Jim Trotter, who wrote the article, posted the following message on Twitter on Sunday morning:
"Zak Gilbert was a hard-working, conscientious professional. The same cannot be said of the man who fired him. #Raiders"
Gilbert, 37, was with the Raiders for just one year, hired by GM Reggie McKenzie, whom he had worked with for the Green Bay Packers from 2001 through 2007. Gilbert released the following statement, via the San Francisco Chronicle:
"I’d like to thank Mark Davis for the honor of serving the Raiders, and Reggie McKenzie for hiring me. I leave holding my chin up, knowing I dedicated every waking hour to promoting a positive image for our team. The co-workers in my Raiders family are extraordinary; the camaraderie we built was really special. Talking to Raiders fans on a weekly basis, I learned first-hand that their passion and loyalty is unmatched. I have great respect for the team’s rich history and took seriously the role of preserving it. Although disappointed that I can’t remain on the ride, I wish Reggie and Dennis Allen absolutely nothing but success in a bright future."
On May 11, Raiders CEO Amy Trask issued a brief statement to announce her resignation after more than 25 years with the franchise.
"Having honored a commitment that I made to effectuate a smooth transition and transfer of control, I no longer wish to remain with the organization," Trask wrote. "For over a quarter of a century, it was my honor and my privilege to work for the Raiders. I will forever appreciate the opportunity afforded me by Al Davis."
Trask had been informed by Mark Davis that, going forward, she would have a "subordinate role" within the organization she had represented at league meetings under Al Davis. Between Trask's departure, and now the ridiculous firing of Gilbert, it's becoming increasingly clear that Mark Davis does not possess the thick skin a person in his position should have and soothing his ego has become a greater priority to the Raiders than keeping talented individuals in key positions within the organization.