By being colorblind 60 years ago, famous Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis transformed football and had a significant influence on the country. According to Forbes, Davis paid $18,500, or a little over $147,000 after inflation, for a 10% stake in the Oakland Raiders in 1966.
As a result, Davis gained access to the Raiders organization he actually desired: rebuilding.
And he did rebuild. Without a doubt, Al Davis played a significant role in not only developing the contemporary NFL but also in the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 as well as in completely rebuilding the Raiders.
Davis attended schools and played for guys whom other teams wouldn’t consider. Gene Upshaw, a guard and future Hall-of-Famer from Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville), was selected by Davis in the first round of the 1967 NBA Draft.
Eldridge Dickey of Tennessee State was selected by Davis in the first round of the 1968 NFL Draft, making him the first black quarterback ever selected in the first round. Davis selected Maryland State lineman Art Shell, who will go on to become a Hall of Famer, in the third round.
John Madden was replaced as Davis’ head coach by Tom Flores in 1979. Only the second Latino head coach in the history of professional football was Flores. In Super Bowl XV, he would become the first minority head coach to claim a championship.
Davis transformed Jim Plunkett, a Hispanic quarterback who had been released by the San Francisco 49ers in 1978, into a Super Bowl champion in Super Bowl XV that same year. Additionally, it was the first time a team led by a member of a minority won the Super Bowl.