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49ers Antoine Bethea

We LOVED Seeing Kaepernick

Confront Raiders LB

12/9/2014 1:18 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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San Francisco 49ers safety Antoine Bethea tells TMZ Sports the team was PUMPED to see Colin Kaepernick get in Sio Moore's face at halftime last week ... saying, "It fired the guys up."

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Kaepernick got into a heated spat with Moore in the tunnel at last week's game ... with Moore calling the QB a "bitch ass motherf**ker."

"Kap is a grown man and he won't let ANYBODY disrespect him like that," Bethea says.

"The guys in the locker room love seeing when your leader steps up like that. It makes us all rally behind him and get ready for these last few weeks and fight to get in (the playoffs)."

Bethea chalks the whole thing up to the local rivalry and says the 49ers are already moving on from the incident.

"Trust me, we are not worried about Sio and what the Raiders are doing. They got the victory and we look forward to getting our team ready for next week."

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Shawne Merriman

Advice to Raiders ...

FIRE EVERYBODY!!

11/18/2014 3:44 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

111814_shawn_merriman_launchThere's only one way to save the Oakland Raiders ... FIRE EVERYONE ... so says ex-NFL star Shawne Merriman, who says the team is "as bad as it gets."

"They need to clean house," Merriman says ... "Bring some people in there who WANT to play football ... and people who want to win."

But the best part about the encounter with the former San Diego Chargers linebacker -- when he took a second to PRAISE the Silver and Black.

"I used to love playing the Raiders ... they sent me to many Pro Bowls. So I can't hate."

Yeah, they suck.

Terry Crews

RAIDERS FANS THREATENED MY WIFE

... When I Played for the Rams

10/10/2014 7:13 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" star Terry Crews tells TMZ Sports ... back when he used to play for the L.A. Rams, the Raiders fans hated his team so much, they THREATENED his wife and family. 

Crews -- a former NFL linebacker -- played for the Rams back in 1991 ... back before the Raiders ditched L.A. and moved back to Oakland. 

And last night in L.A., Crews told us some of the more insane fans of the Silver and Black took the rivalry so seriously, they threatened his wife and family. 

It's pretty crazy stuff -- but Terry tells us it's not the Raiders fans that people need to worry about these days ... there's ANOTHER team in the Bay Area that's even scarier. 

Check out the clip.

Louis Gossett Jr.

BRING THE RAIDERS BACK TO L.A.

10/8/2014 11:19 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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The Raiders NEED Los Angeles ... and Los Angeles NEEDS the Raiders -- so says Hollywood legend Louis Gossett Jr. who tells TMZ Sports it's time to bring the Silver & Black back to where they belong. 

Louis -- who recently appeared on "Celebrity Ghost Stories" -- says L.A. is still haunted by the ghosts of it's NFL past ... even since the Raiders left L.A. for Oakland back in '95. 

The only way to exercise the demon??? BRING 'EM BACK!!! 

Of course, there's been talk about the Raiders leaving Oakland for another city ... including San Antonio and Austin ... but the Oscar winner tells us there's only one place the team can truly call home.

Ex-Raiders Cheerleader

RIPS RAIDERETTE LAWSUIT

... They're Bitter Liars

9/18/2014 8:03 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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A former Oakland Raiders cheerleader is BLASTING the ex-Raiderette who sued the NFL team ... calling her a "liar" who never really loved the sport. 

TMZ Sports spoke with Nicole Rodrigues -- who cheered on the squad in 2003 and 2004 -- who insists she was always paid well during her time with the team. 

"The Raiders, the whole organization, we're a family. That's the main thing ... they took care of us."

Not all of the former Raiderettes feel that way -- as we previously reported,  a woman who called herself Lacy T. sued the team earlier this year claiming the team worked them like dogs and paid them less than minimum wage. 

But Rodrigues is calling BS ... saying the women behind the suit are just looking for a quick buck -- and didn't appreciate the Raiderette experience 

Bottom line for Rodrigues -- "I have zero complaints about how much I was paid."
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Justin Tuck

Praying for Families of Flight 370

3/24/2014 7:59 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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With officials announcing that Flight 370 "ended in the pacific ocean" ... several athletes are offering their thoughts and prayers to the families who lost loved ones in the crash. 

NFL star Justin Tuck tweeted, "Praying to the families of those who lost their lives on Malaysia airlines flight 370."

Team USA soccer star Alex Morgan posted, " So sad for the families, but a little closure as well. #Flight370."

Malaysian officials say satellite data shows the flight went down in the Indian Ocean and that all 239 people on board died in the crash.

Terrelle Pryor

I'm BUSTING MY ASS

for a Starting QB Job

3/18/2014 6:43 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor tells TMZ Sports ... he's been training like a maniac this off-season -- waking up at 5AM every day in pursuit of a starting QB job in the NFL. 

Pryor was in Downtown L.A. yesterday when we just happened the 6'6" football star -- and asked him about rumors he could be shipped out of Oakland. 

"I can't really worry about the things I can't control," Terrelle said. 

Still, the guy told us about his grueling training regimen -- busting his ass with legendary trainer Travelle Gaines and working out at USC ... where Tim Tebow's been spotted recently. 

One more thing ... Pryor was a high school basketball stud -- and tells TMZ Sports he still hoops around with one of his celebrity friends.

Check out the clip.

The Raiderettes

Just Strip, Baby

Cheerleaders Get Offer from Penthouse

1/31/2014 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0130-raiderettes-penthouse-gettyWith a federal investigation underway into allegations the Oakland Raiders grossly underpaid their cheerleaders ... the Raiderettes are finally getting a shot at a fair income .... thanks to Penthouse.

TMZ Sports has learned ... the legendary nudie mag has reached out to the squad in the hopes of hiring some of the women for a "tasteful pictorial in the magazine."

As we previously reported, one of the Raiderettes has already filed a lawsuit against the team claiming she made less than $5-per-hour ... way less than the state mandated minimum wage.  And the U.S. Dept. of Labor is investigating the team.

Sources connected to the situation tell us ... Penthouse is prepared to make a "significant offer" to the women if they're interested in showing a little skin.  We're told the mag isn't pushing for full nudity.

In a letter sent to the team squad, Penthouse says ... "You can even wear your silver and black ... or not."

So far, unclear if any of the Raiderettes are game.

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Raiders Cheerleaders

FEDS LAUNCH INVESTIGATION

Team Accused of Screwing Women Out of Cash

1/30/2014 4:08 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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The Oakland Raiders are now the target of a federal investigation into allegations the team pays its cheerleading squad members FAR LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE.

The U.S. Dept. of Labor has confirmed it's looking into the team ... just days after a Raiderette named Lacy T. filed a lawsuit saying she gets paid less than $5-an-hour to shake her pom-poms.

A rep for the Labor Dept. says it's looking into the "entire cheerleading squad" ... and not just the claims made by Lacy.

In her lawsuit, Lacy claimed each Raiderette only makes $1,250 per season -- and job requires not only working all 10 home games, but attending rehearsals, charity events, fan events and posing for a swimsuit calendar.

When all the hours are totaled up, Lacy claims she makes less than $5-per-hour ... far less than the CA minimum wage, which is $8-per-hour.

Bill Romanowski

There Are 5 Plays I Regret

Like the Time I Snapped a Guy's Finger

1/28/2014 7:27 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Ex-NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski tells TMZ Sports ... there are a handful of dirty plays from his NFL career he wishes he could take back -- like the time he SNAPPED A DUDE'S FINGER!!!

Bill -- one of the most ferocious defensive players of all time -- is out in NYC for the Super Bowl ... and says he still feels bad about the time he was in a pile with running back Dave Meggett, grabbed the guy's finger and "cracked it like a chicken bone."

"I heard it and felt it ... and then heard the scream at the bottom of the pile."

Still, Bill admits, "There are probably 5 plays I'd love to take back ... but I can't."

"I had fun hittin' em though."

NFL Linebacker

Killed in 100 MPH Car Crash

1 Other Driver Dies, Another Hospitalized

11/18/2013 4:01 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Thomas Howard – an NFL linebacker who was cut by the Falcons last week – killed himself and another person this morning when he slammed into a big rig truck at more than 100MPH ... officials say.

Witnesses told the CHP ... Howard -- a 2nd round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft -- was blazing down a highway in Oakland, CA when he lost control of his BMW 750Li and smashed into the back of a semi.

Howard's car went airborne and flew across the center median -- and eventually collided with a Chevy Monte Carlo AND a Honda CR-V.

The collision was bad, both Howard and the driver of the Honda -- a 55-year-old man -- died at the scene.

The driver of the Chevy was transported to a nearby hospital. The condition of the semi driver is unknown.

30-year-old Howard was drafted by the Oakland Raiders and blossomed into a star. He also played for the Bengals and most recently the Falcons. He was cut by ATL on November 12.

Story developing ...

Raiders Icon Al Davis

Died from Bum Ticker

10/28/2011 12:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis died from a broken heart ... this according to his death certificate obtained by TMZ.

The document reveals three primary causes of death:

A) Ventricular fibrillation -- a dangerously abnormal heart rhythm
B) Congestive heart failure
C) Cardiomyopathy -- heart muscle disease

According to the death certificate, Al died at the Oakland Airport Hilton at 2:45 AM on October 8th.

The document shows Al had been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy years ago ... and suffered a ventricular fibrillation just 15 minutes before his death. Davis also suffered from Merkel cell carcinoma -- an aggressive form of skin cancer.

According to the doc, Davis -- who was involved with the NFL for 60 years -- underwent throat surgery just three days before his death. Davis also had heart surgery in 1996.

Al was 82 when he died.

NFL Hall-of-Famer on Al Davis

Not EVERYONE Loved Al Davis ...

10/11/2011 4:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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Legendary NFL running back Eric Dickerson played for the Oakland Raiders for one year back in the '90s ... but it's clear, he had NO LOVE for Al Davis.

Dickerson was out in L.A. last night -- when he made a huge statement about his former boss, without having to say too much.

But when we asked about his other former team -- the struggling Rams -- Dickerson couldn't have been more blunt ... it's time to come back to Los Angeles!!

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