The Las Vegas Raiders’ tumultuous season continues as they released cornerback Damon Arnette after a disturbing video of the 25-year-old waving a gun and threatening to kill someone made the rounds on social media this week.
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“Very painful decision,” Raiders general manager Mike Mayock told reporters Monday on a conference call. “We spent significant time, effort and resources trying to help him in all aspects of his life.
“There have been a series of bad decisions over the last year or so, 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.”
Arnette, a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, appeared in 13 games for the Raiders, starting seven, between 2020 and 2021.
Mayock admitted Arnette’s character was a “significant concern” before the 2020 draft.
“At the time, 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,” Mayock told reporters. “And obviously, we missed and that is 100 percent on me.”
The Raiders’ season has been filled with off-field drama and tragedy. Last week, star wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was arrested and charged with DUI resulting in death after his Corvette hit 23-year-old Tina Tintor’s Toyota RAV4, causing a fiery wreck and killing both her and her dog. Las Vegas police say that Ruggs was driving 156 miles per hour and had a blood alcohol content of .161 — over twice the legal limit. Ruggs was released by the Raiders.
Last month, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was forced to resign after insensitive emails to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen were leaked to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Gruden’s assistant Rich Bisaccia took over as interim coach.
Amid all the turmoil, the Raiders are tied atop the AFC West with the Chargers at 5-3; both the Broncos and Chiefs are 5-4.