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Oakland Raiders fire public relations director Zak Gilbert

  • By NFL.com
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The Oakland Raiders fired public relations director Zak Gilbert on Saturday after Gilbert's first season with the team.

The San Francisco Chronicle cited team sources in saying Raiders owner Mark Davis was unhappy with a Sports Illustrated story, written in April by Jim Trotter, that portrayed general manager Reggie McKenzie favorably but was critical of the recent performance of Davis and his father, the late Al Davis.

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Gilbert was hired by McKenzie after the two worked together with the Green Bay Packers.

Gilbert issued this statement, according to InsideBayArea.com:

"I'd like to thank Mark Davis for the honor of serving the Raiders, and Reggie McKenzie for hiring me. I leave holding my chin up, knowing I dedicated every waking hour to promoting a positive image for our team. The co-workers in my Raiders family are extraordinary; the camaraderie we built was really special. Talking to Raiders fans on a weekly basis, I learned first-hand that their passion and loyalty is unmatched. I have great respect for the team's rich history and took seriously the role of preserving it. Although disappointed that I can't remain on the ride, I wish Reggie and Dennis Allen absolutely nothing but success in a bright future."

InsideBayArea.com also reported that Gilbert hasn't been at the Raiders' facility since the SI story was published April 18.

The team confirmed the move with a statement on Sunday, according to InsideBayArea.com:

"The Raiders would like to thank Zak Gilbert for his service to the organization over the past year. The team appreciates Zak's efforts to foster strong relationships with coaches, players, club personnel and the media. The Raiders wish him well in his future endeavors."

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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