Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr spoke to the media on Monday about the franchise’s future relocation from the Bay Area to Sin City.
Speaking about his comments on Twitter in the direct aftermath of the announcement that shook-up a lot of the Raider Nation-faithful Carr said “what I said then was really, has really held true.”
“I’m human, man, that’s crazy, you know? How do you keep playing somewhere you love and then you go and play somewhere else that you’re gonna have to love and love the people there, just like we will. But for me I really had to concentrate on ‘In all honesty it doesn’t matter yet’, you know? It’s like something that’s coming, it’s big news, it’s exciting for our organization, for fans that are Raider-fans in Nevada and things like that but at the same time we have our fans here that we need to take care of, and that’s really important to me to take care of our fans here, make sure that we enjoy our last times.”
“‘Is it two years? Three years? Who knows? But that’s my focus to make sure that I’m giving everything to this city (Oakland) that I can and not trying to do a little here and little there, obviously there’s gong to be times where we’re in Vegas doing things, cuz that’s a weird situation, my focus is here and now making sure that our fans feel appreciated knowing that they are going to get the very best version of me and my teammates every time we step out on the field.”
Carr added that he was “surprised” with the interactions he’s had with fans in the aftermath of the relocation announcement. “I don’t know if it really should have surprised me cuz that’s just how Raider fans are, ‘we’re going with you, we’re Raiders.'”
“Like I said in the message, through the hard times and the good times we’re still Raiders. There’s been a lot of hard times before, now we’ve got to have some good times, this is just another thing that we’re going to deal with together and we’re not going to split up like you’ve seen other cities do we’re not going to do things like that, for the one’s that do I don’t really believe that they are true Raider fans, I feel their hurt, I’m with you, I hurt too, but at the same time we’re all in this together and we’re just got to do it together.”
Carr took some heat from Raider Nation for his comments about fans that felt a need to leave the “Raider Nation” not being “true Raider fans.”
The always-reserved Steven A. Smith Called him out on ESPN’s First Take for those comments this morning and Derek wasn’t too impressed.
— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) April 18, 2017
Carr went on to say in his press conference that relocation wasn’t going to effect him or anybody else in the Raiders organization. “The people it effects the most is our families, the people it effects the most is our fans here that we have, and I think that’s the hardest part, but at the same time we still have some good years ahead of us here you know and I think that our fans are really excited about that and I think that they realize that, that ‘hey, we still have some times we can really enjoy here,’ and I think that that is the main focus right now.”
“I know for us, for me and my teammates, we’re focused on ‘man we gotta squat tomorrow, we gotta condition, we got to do all these things tomorrow, and do it excellent.’ We’ve got to do those things to make sure we continue to have success, but I think our fans will realize as it gets closer that ‘hey, we’re here, and focused on the ‘now’.'”
Carr said that he hopes the atmosphere in the colosseum will not be any different for this upcoming season.
“I hope not. I wouldn’t expect it would. You know… I think I posted something and out of like 1,000 people you’re going to get one or two that have something to say, and that’s with everything. It honestly doesn’t matter if you throw four touchdowns and three picks, you’re gonna get it both ways. I expect that but if something happens it will be the 1% and… hopefully ya’ll don’t focus on that kind of stuff because there’s the 99%, the loyal, faithful fans that are gonna ride with us wherever where at.”
Carr pointed out that he’s spent time all over the country as well as some time in Mexico. “Raider Nation is an international brand, and when you see that logo you know what that is, no matter where you’re at. I’ve had buddies in Europe, I’ve had buddies in South America sending me pictures of people wearing my jersey, things like that, so Raider fans are everywhere. We’re resilient, we’ve been through some hard times obviously.”
“I’m a Raider fan myself and that’s why I speak for us you know, because I remember the hard times, watching it growing up, and when my mom’s side of the family was rooting for the Cowboys and they were winning Super Bowls. I remember the hard times, I remember growing up through it, but that’s the thing is we always stay together and we’re loyal.”
Carr went on to say that the fans in Las Vegas should be really excited. “Yeah (the Vegas fans) should be really excited you know, we’ve got a good football team that works really hard, great character, and you know when we go there it’s not so much us incorporating into Vegas, it’s… the Las Vegas people incorporating into the Raiders.”
“We’re not going to change who we are. We’re coming into this city, we’re bringing our brand, the Silver and Black, and hopefully they just come and be a part of it. That’s what we want, we want to be a part of it now. You know but again, our focus is here in Oakland right now.”
“I think it’s going to be another show and hopefully it will turn into the hottest one.”