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PRO FOOTBALL '95 : Raiders Respond Angrily to Suit : Jurisprudence: Statement rips NFL as 'sneaky' and 'corrupted' in its attempt to collect money over move.

September 02, 1995|BILL PLASCHKE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Oakland Raiders, responding in a written statement to the filing of a lawsuit against them by the NFL, claimed league officials were "sneaky," "stupid," and, "sick and demented and corrupted."

The Raiders also said they would "bloody" the league in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, where the suit was filed Thursday in hopes of forcing the team to affirm league guidelines in respect to relocation and revenue sharing.

It is unclear who wrote the unattributed, six-paragraph missive that appeared on Raider letterhead.

Joe Browne, NFL spokesman, said the league would have no comment.

The Raiders were responding to the second lawsuit filed against them by the league in 15 years.

Although the league does not want the Raiders to return to Los Angeles, it hopes the suit will reaffirm NFL franchise relocation rules and collect the $3 million to $4 million annually that the Raiders allegedly owe as part of the league's revenue-sharing agreement.

Even though his move to Oakland was approved by league owners in July, Raider owner Al Davis has threatened to sue the league for not allowing him to move to Oakland last season. He has also refused to share in the financial gains of the new stadium deal handed him by Alameda County Coliseum Commission.

"This is a vicious attempt to kill the Oakland deal, after the league already killed the Raider opportunity at Hollywood Park," the release stated.

The release claims that the Raiders "made crystal clear" to the owners that they would not pay any money in connection with the relocation.

The release also stated, "The NFL desperately wants venue in Los Angeles [for the lawsuit] where they believe they will have sympathetic advantage in the courts, in the press and in the electronic media."

It continued, "The lawsuit is yet another sneaky maneuver by the league--deja vu."

The release concluded, "To file this malicious action on the eve of the season is totally destructive. The NFL does not care about the season and the NFL wants to play football in the courts, where we'll bloody them again. The brains behind this sneaky, stupid move are sick and demented and corrupted by power."

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