It’s been a tumultuous week for the Las Vegas Raiders as they come to terms with the release of wide receiver Henry Ruggs stemming from his involvement in a fatal car crash on Tuesday, November 2, that resulted in the death of 23-year-old Tina Tintor and her dog. Ruggs was subsequently charged with DUI resulting in death, a class B felony. He faces penalties of two to 20 years in prison, fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 and a three-year driver’s license suspension under Nevada law.
Once presented with the evidence, the Raiders made a quick decision to release Ruggs — a decision that was made by owner Mark Davis. Davis spoke with Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and offered his thoughts on the whole situation.
“It’s devastating,” Davis said in Bonsignore’s November 4 article. “Obviously a loss of life … it’s just a tragedy.”
Ruggs‘ time with the Raiders was brief. He only played in 20 games over the course of two seasons. Despite his short time with the team and the circumstances surrounding the crash, Davis made it clear that they are not planning on abandoning Ruggs.
“We released Henry Ruggs the football player,” Davis said. “Henry Ruggs is still a human being and Raider alumni and somebody that we want to help. We’ll be there for him.”
Davis’ words echo those of quarterback Derek Carr, who said on Wednesday that Ruggs “needs to be loved right now.”
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Davis Addresses How His Team Will Respond
The Raiders were just starting to get over the resignation of head coach Jon Gruden, who left the team after a series of homophobic, racist and misogynistic emails were leaked to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. The team responded by winning back-to-back games over the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles.
However, the situation surrounding Ruggs is much different, as a life was lost and the wide receiver faces possible jail time. The Raiders’ mettle will be further tested on Sunday against the New York Giants and Davis isn’t exactly sure how his team will respond.
“We’ll see,” Davis told Bonsignore of how his team will respond on the field. “That’s what we’ve got to see. It’s tough on these kids. They’ve lost their head coach. They’ve lost one of their best teammates and players. They lost the president of the organization. There’s been a lot of upheaval around here.”
Davis Praises Carr’s Leadership
Derek Carr is the leader of the team and has done the best he can given the circumstances. The quarterback has been widely praised for how he’s handled the Ruggs situation off the field but it remains to be seen how that will translate once the team plays. Regardless, Davis is impressed with how Carr has handled himself.
“He’s really stepped up the last month or so as the leader of this team,” Davis told Bonsignore. “His maturity is beginning to show.”
As the starting quarterback, Carr is often looked to as the leader in times of crisis. The rest of the 2021 season will present a great challenge for the eight-year veteran.
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