The Las Vegas Raiders have kicked cornerback Damon Arnette off the team after he made a video of himself spouting death threats to an unnamed individual and waving a firearm. This episode is only one of the many woes recently plaguing the football organization, including former coach Jon Gruden’s offensive comments and a fatal car crash resulting from the drunkenness of wideout Henry Ruggs III.
“Very painful decision,” are the words Raiders general manager Mike Mayock used to sum up Arnette’s release duing a conference call. “We spent significant time, effort and resources trying to help [Arnette] in all aspects of his life. The 25-year-old is already dealing with lawsuits related to an alleged hit-and-run incident in Sin City last month.
“There have been a series of bad decisions over the last year or so,” Maycock continued, “but we can’t stand, we cannot stand for the video of Damon with a gun, threatening to take a life. The content was unacceptable, contrary to our values and our owner Mark Davis has been very clear and very consistent that this is not how we will conduct ourselves in this community. The bottom line — the Raiders will not tolerate this type of behavior.”
In the 14-second clip, Arnette appears to be answering an exchange with someone as he addressed the anonymous person with the following statement: “Sh*t, five minutes away. Pull up, lame a** n*gga! I swear to God, I will kill you, n*gga! (brandishes weapon) On everything I love, I will kill you, n*gga! You talkin’ crazy! Talkin’ about that sh*t, five minutes…”
There were questions about Arnette’s ability to stay out of trouble before he came to the pros. Maycock even admitted he knew about them but spoke with the cornerback’s father, others in Arnette’s circle, and the staff at Arnette’s alma mater (Ohio State University) and felt comfortable moving forward.
“At the time,” the Radiers GM said, “we thought it was an acceptable risk… after doing more homework on Arnette than anybody we’ve done in the years I’ve been here. And obviously, we missed, and that is 100% on me.”