Friday, July 8, 2016

Corporate Raiders of Las Vegas Launching Campaign to Move Oakland Raiders to Sin City; Fertittas Making Slick Moves to Liquidate Assets for NFL Team Purchase

By: Rich Bergeron

As a passionate NFL fan who happens to also have unique insight into the number one mixed martial arts organization on the planet, I'd like this article serve as a formal warning to the National Football League...

The Fertittas owning the Oakland Raiders or having anything to do with that storied franchise, or any other NFL team with such a solid football history will forever taint your organization. To put it bluntly: the brothers Fertitta are bad news, period.

It is a wonder to me that the Fertitta brothers (now through Red Rock Resorts) can still legally hold and profit off a gaming license in the state of Nevada in light of their own HISTORY. Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III are not now, and they never will be... real "team" players. Here are three reasons why:

1.) They are always paying themselves first in every business deal they design, and they will do whatever it takes to create vast wealth off of shady and ruthless business practices.

2.) They have a documented history of abusing the bankruptcy courts to benefit themselves off the backs of hundreds of innocent investors.

3.) The Fertitta ownership of the UFC is a prime example of why they would be the worst possible owners of an NFL team the league could even imagine. UFC fighters are often saddled with egregious contracts that are riddled with complicated performance clauses and other nuances that make it very difficult for them to maximize their earning potential.

These slick Vegas casino baron brothers might be making stadium plans after collecting a boatload of liquid assets through their IPO of Station Casinos, but they are far from suitable owners for a major sports franchise in the NFL.

In their case, NFL ought to stand for "No Frank and Lorenzo."

The Oakland Raiders would be a great fit in Las Vegas, don't get me wrong. I'd love to see that city with an official NFL team, and it would generate local and international interest. I lived in Las Vegas for about two years (thanks in part to the Fertittas and their lawyers), and the city needs something like a big NFL stadium to stimulate the local economy and bring a different demographic to the area to enjoy something other than gambling and showgirls.

The main problem here with the proposed move is the movers. There are plenty of other fair players and sports enthusiasts based in Las Vegas who would be better ambassadors for the sport of football. NFL officials, please beware of these evil-minded brothers who wield an iron fist over the sport of mixed martial arts as it is. Even if they divest themselves from their casinos and the UFC, bringing them onboard the big NFL ownership bus means bringing their whole ugly past with them. It sends a bad message to honest people everywhere...nice guys finish last and greed is great.

The prior business moves and absolute disregard for the people they built their fortunes off the backs of is proof enough of the Fertitta brothers being unfit for NFL ownership. If there is any way to prevent any sale of an NFL team to this brotherhood, NFL officials should take that course of action and seek other investors who are unrelated to the Fertittas and their ugly shadow cast by a history of family corruption and financial scheming. The Oakland Raiders may need a figurative Hail Mary to stay alive in the league, but involving the Fertittas in their franchise as financial backers is like inviting the devil himself to be part of the ownership group. The Oakland Raiders can choose from a multitude of "lesser evils" in Sin City to build the franchise on a new frontier.

As an NFL fan who appreciates the growth of the sport amidst so many challenges like the concussion situation and the criminal tendencies exhibited by so many players in the league, I look at Fertitta ownership of an NFL team as a stain on the sport it will never be able to erase. I consider Fertitta ownership of an NFL team to be a crime against the sport itself.

I sincerely hope the National Football League engages in a due dilligence investigation into the past business dealings of the Fertitta Brothers before they hand Lorenzo and Frank the keys to Raiders Kingdom. Their civil litigation history alone is enough to raise plenty of concerns as to their ability to fairly manage such an undertaking without resorting to their familiar MO of scheming and scamming to line their own pockets. The NFL is rife with enough scandal without the shade these two brothers bring to the collective bargaining table.

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