Las Vegas is a place most people go to make mistakes. It’s a city built around gambling, drinking, and partying. However, it is also one of the country’s most premier cities and a potentially massive market for the NFL. The challenge of balancing a high profile sports team with the prototypical Vegas lifestyle has been a bit of a challenge for the Raiders throughout the 2021 season. Multiple high profile incidents have left some concerned about the teams new home.
Problems in Sin City
The Raiders have had multiple scandals plague their young roster in recent months. First, second year wide receiver Henry Ruggs was involved in a high speed car accident in early November. Ruggs, who was driving 156 MPH while intoxicated, crashed into 23 year old Tina Tintor, who was tragically killed as a result. Less then a week raider, the Raiders cut former first pick Damon Arnette after videos of him brandishing guns in his home surfaced online. To cap things off, defensive back Nate Hobbs is now facing DUI charges after falling asleep in his car under the influence. The Myriad of incidents have all involved young player who have seen significant playing time this eason.
The question now turns to whether Las Vegas is part of the problem. The city has seen two major sports franchises move in over the course of the last 5 years. The Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Raiders both now call Sin City home, meaning young players are coming right out of college into one of the biggest party cities in the world. Money and youth have long been the cause of promising athletes finding themselves in trouble, no matter the city. So is Vegas really a major problem, or is it just a series of unfortunate incidents that have plagued the Raider organization?
It is hard to place all the blame on the city of Vegas. Plenty of other teams across the NFL have dealt with similar issues. Kansas City Chief’s assistant coach Britt Reid had a similar DUI incident last year, and it is fairly common for young players to have legal troubles, especially early in their careers.
However, this potential issue is worth keeping an eye on going forward. This is the Raiders first true year experiencing the true bright lights of Vegas. Their first year in 2020 saw the typical commotion greatly dimmed by Covid. Now, everything is back in full swing, and the temptation is greater than ever. If things calm down for the Raiders, you can chalk 2021 up to bad luck. But if issues continue to plague the organization, Las Vegas will fall under great scrutiny from the NFL and all other major sports leagues.
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