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NFL Loses Significant Icon With Passing Of Oakland Raiders Owner Al Davis

The passing of Al Davis signals the passing of a true icon who stood for diversity and symbolized a significant era in the NFL.

The Oakland Raiders weren't the only franchise to lose an icon today at the announced death of Al Davis at 82 years of age. Instead, it's the entire NFL who grieves at the passing of someone who has pioneered many significant moments for the league and winner of three Super Bowl titles.

Davis was a figure who was derided for many decisions and praised for several others, but there's no doubt the man was polarizing. What he did, however, was leave behind a legacy as a primary owner of the Raiders franchise since '72, as Raiders coach and general manager before that and even a time as the AFL commissioner. In total, his teams won three Super Bowls ('76, '80, '83) and made the Raiders a national brand along the way. Perhaps more important, Davis did more for equality in hiring minorities before any other owner in the NFL.

The rivalries between AFC West foes like the Chiefs and Raiders or Broncos and Raiders just won't be the same. And the NFL has lost a significant figure today in Al Davis.