Thursday, June 16, 2022 | 11:13 a.m.
The Las Vegas Raiders had a personal connection to the mass shooting that occurred last month at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, one that helped compel the organization to make a sizable donation earlier this week.
In a Zoom meeting with officials, Raiders owner Mark Davis gave $1 million to the Uvalde Consolidated School District to help with security. Also on the call was former Raider Super Bowl champion and All-Pro safety Vann McElroy, a 62-year-old Uvalde native who spoke with Davis shortly after the shooting.
“He told me the hurt his hometown was going through,” Davis said in the meeting, per the Uvalde Leader-News. “Vann told me that he had a grandson attending public school. He said his family thought about having him go to a private school next year, but he wanted him to attend public school as Vann and his son had done growing up in Uvalde. He said that Uvalde was in pain and needed help. I asked him what we could do to help the ease that pain.”
Davis officially pledged the money on the call, but the Raiders also posed for a picture with the check at their Henderson headquarters. Team leaders Maxx Crosby, Derek Carr, Davante Adams and Kolton Miller held it in front of a gathering of team employees on the practice field.
One of Davis’ favorite phrases that he’s carried over from the tenure of father Al Davis is, “Once a Raider, always a Raider.” The donation was another example of putting the philosophy into practice.
“In all the years that I played for the Raiders, this organization took care of me and my family, and has looked out for the players and all members of the Raiders family,” McElroy said, according to the Leader-News.
McElroy played nine seasons for the Raiders, including as part of the 1983-1984 Super Bowl team in his second year, out of Baylor University before wrapping up his career with the Seahawks. He made a pair of Pro Bowls and was named second-team All-Pro four times with the Raiders.
He settled back in Uvalde after his retirement from the NFL and became a big part of the community. The school district’s director of student services, Kenneth Mueller, called McElroy “a life-long friend” during the meeting.
McElroy, Mueller and school district superintendent Hal Harrell discussed how the Raiders could help after Davis expressed interest. The money will be used to install impenetrable doors, an unscalable fence and a comprehensive camera-security system.
The mass shooting at Robb Elementary was the deadliest in Texas history, with 21 killed and another 17 injured.
“When part of our family is hurting, we need to do what we can to help,” Davis said, according to the Leader-News. “We know it is going to take Uvalde a long time to heal from this horrible tragedy. Hopefully, this contribution today can be a model to aid others who are in need of help.”