Raiders' Allen unloads on Davis Top rusher says owner has tried to ruin career

December 15, 1992|By Larry Stewart | Larry Stewart,Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES -- Marcus Allen has declared war on Los Angeles Raiders owner Al Davis.

In an interview with ABC's Al Michaels, taped last weekend and shown during halftime of last night's game, Allen, the Raiders' all-time leading rusher, accused Davis of having a vendetta against him and attempting to ruin his career.

"He told me he was going to get me and he has," Allen said.

The rift between Allen and Davis has been going on for years, but this was the first time Allen has spoken out in such strong terms.

In the locker room afterward, Allen, who has a court date of June 1 in his legal pursuit of free agency, indicated his Raiders days were over.

Asked by Michaels why he had not spoken out before, Allen said: "I've always been afraid that perhaps this guy would suspend me for conduct detrimental to the team, so I couldn't say too much. I've tried several different private ways to get my behind thrown out of there, but it hasn't worked."

Allen said coach Art Shell was not responsible for his situation. "Art is a good friend," he said. "He has been honest with me. He has told me this is out of his hands."

Michaels said he talked to Davis, who refused to go on camera, and Davis said with a laugh that Allen's statements were "totally fraudulent."

Michaels, quoting Davis, said: "Allen has reported late four of the last five years and he has been hurt. Maybe he doesn't like the competition -- people like [Eric] Dickerson, [Roger] Craig and before that Bo Jackson."

Michaels said he also talked with Shell, who told him: "I am the coach of this team and I determine who plays."

Davis, when approached by reporters in Miami, asked what Shell's response was. When told, Davis said: "I guess that refutes that."

Davis had no further comment.

Allen described his relationship with Davis as "acrimonious at best."

"What do you think of a guy who has attempted to ruin your career?" Allen said. "When someone messes with your livelihood -- this is what I've wanted to do since I was 8 years old, and this very thing has been taken away from me and not, I don't think, for a business reason, but for a personal reason."

Asked if it was a personal vendetta, Allen said, "No question about it."

In conversations with Davis, Allen said: "He told me he was going to get me and he has. I don't know for what reason, but he told me he was going to get me.

"I think he has tried to ruin the latter part of my career, tried to devalue me and tried to stop me from going to the Hall of Fame.

"It has been an outright joke to sit on the sidelines and not get an opportunity to play.

"Looking back, I don't think I did anything. Maybe it's just the way I am, and I can't change that and I don't apologize for that. Maybe that offended him. Maybe it rubbed him the wrong way. I just can't fathom what happened. It's a mystery to me."

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