The Truth Will Set Us Free
I don’t know if there is any truth to the rumor that Al Davis has asked Lane Kiffin to resign, as alleged in an ESPN report citing unnamed sources. According to this report, Mr. Davis has gone so far as to draft a resignation letter for Kiffin to sign, but Kiffin is instead daring Mr. Davis to fire him. The report alludes to serious friction between the two.
If there is no truth to the rumor, I would advise the Raiders to release a brief statement quoting Al Davis along the following lines:
“The rumors originating from the ESPN report are categorically false on all points. Lane Kiffin is integral to our long-term plan of building a championship team. Our fans should know the truth.”
In fact, the Raiders were recently inspired to make a similarly formal statement on behalf of Rob Ryan. If they can do it for their defensive coordinator, they can do it for their head coach. Who knows, a statement might be in the works this very second. It won’t be a second too soon.
John Herrera, a senior team executive, has already been quoted as saying, “It’s not an issue. Lane’s the coach.” Thank you, John, but I’d like to hear it from the man upstairs.
Kiffin himself was rather coy earlier this week when asked about his alleged differences with Ryan, pretending he'd never heard about the rumors. Wow, what surefire endorsement of Ryan.
If the ESPN report is not true, it would be mightily unfortunate that the Raiders have once again been irresponsibly maligned by a careless media outlet. It happens a lot, as I have documented on these pages for the past three years.
Nevertheless, this report has created a bit of a crisis, as evident in fan outcry here and elsewhere. And effective crisis communications has nothing to do with the origins of the crisis, but the quality of the communication.
Therefore if the report is not true, then it should be officially refuted and repudiated, point by point. If it is true, or if parts of it are true, well…Let’s not go there, shall we?