On Saturday, the Raiders fired their Public Relations Director, Zak Gilbert, who had been with the team for just one year. Specifically, owner Mark Davis fired him.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Team sources say Davis was unhappy with a Sports Illustrated story that was published in April looking back on the team’s 4-12 season in 2012. The article, written by Jim Trotter, cast McKenzie in a good light but Mark Davis didn’t like how the story painted him or the job done by his father, late owner Al Davis, in the previous 10 years."
I'm sorry, what? Davis didn't like the fact that Trotter TRUTHFULLY pointed out that the team was essentially in shambles? Before Al Davis died in 2011, he did not make the best decisions and they were detrimental to the team. The proof is in the 4-12 record, people. If the owner wants to make a scapegoat out of the PR director, that says more than any magazine article ever could about the shambles of the organization.
Public relations can be one of the most difficult jobs there are at times. While a PR Director's job is to foster a positive image of the team, I highly doubt that extends to asking a national football columnist to not write an in-depth story after spending a year in the throes of the organization. What was Gilbert supposed to do - physically stop Trotter from writing his article? Steal all the Sports Illustrated magazines off shelves in the Bay Area?
For what it's worth, Trotter thought the firing was pretty ridiculous as well.
Zak Gilbert was a hard-working, conscientious professional. The same cannot be said of the man who fired him. #Raiders— Jim Trotter (@SI_JimTrotter) June 2, 2013
Davis firing Gilbert is the equivalent of ... well this is odd...I am so baffled by it, I can't even think of a cheesy analogy. Send help!
Reva, the only thing I can think of is (for lack of a better analogy) like the editor of the newspaper for firing the newspaper boy for delivering a newspaper that's been badly written/put-together by the newspaper writing staff and approved by said editor for the last year or 10.
Isn't it always the PR person and/or team broadcaster's fault when a season AND publicity 'go south' ??