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This excerpt from?You Negotiate Like A Girl: Reflections on a Career in the National Football League,?by former Raiders CEO Amy Trask with Mike Freeman is printed with the permission of Triumph Books. For more information and to order a copy, please visit It will be available in hardcover on September 15.***IT DIDNT OCCUR TO ME THAT ANYONE OUTSIDE OF THE RAIDERS, the league office, or other clubs knew of my role with the organization.Early in my career, when we were in Philadelphia to play the Eagles, I learned in a surprising and wonderful way that some others did.As I sat with other Raiders staff in the visiting-team section of the press box just before kickoff, I felt a brush against my ear and I heard a voice whisper: Im so excited that youre doing what youre doing, that youre in the league. Its perfect that you are with the Raiders. If I can ever help you, let me know. The person who whispered that then immediately began walking away. As she did, I turned my head and saw that it was Lesley Visser. All I could think was: Holy crap, how in the hell does Lesley Visser know who I am?I remember her words all these years later and I can hear her voice as I write this.Lesley is the woman who first did so many of the things that women in sports media now do. There have been few in sports journalism -- male or female -- who have accomplished or achieved what she has. Lesley is the first woman in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and she is the only woman who has presented the Lombardi Trophy to the Super Bowl winner.When Lesley shared those sensational words with me, I was stunned and overwhelmed.Lesley was tremendous to me throughout my career; she supported me and encouraged me in every conceivable manner. She does that to this day. No matter how many times I have tried to do so, I dont believe that I have adequately conveyed to Lesley the impact on me of her words and her support and encouragement.Many years after I met Lesley, she shared with me that the first time she was credentialed to enter an NFL locker room, her credential included the standard disclosure that women were not allowed in the locker room. That prohibition on her credential was inconsequential to Lesley; she wasted no time considering it; she was not deterred; she was undaunted. Lesley had been given an assignment and she did it magnificently, as she always does.Al had tremendous admiration for Lesley and he spoke to me often about her throughout my career. Not many people impressed Al; Lesley did.Another woman I met early in my career is Andrea Kremer. I met Andrea at one of the first league meetings I attended. It may have been the very first. There was always a rush for the bathroom at breaks in the meeting; everyone made an immediate beeline for them. When I walked into the womens room, there was one other person there. It was Andrea -- an outstanding, accomplished, award-winning, formidable journalist. Andrea was an intimidating presence (she scared the crap out of me, thats for sure) and there she was in the womens room. The restroom was quiet -- it was just the two of us. In an effort to break what I believed to be an awkward silence (it was awkward for me, thats for sure), I said the only thing that came to mind: Well, theres no line in the womens room at these meetings, thats a nice thing. We both laughed at how, for once, the womens restroom was practically empty while there was a long line for the mens room. Even when I resigned, decades later, when there were other women in the league, there still werent enough to cause a line. As for my restroom meeting with Andrea, it was my great fortune. Andrea offered me support and encouragement throughout my career as she does to this day. Andrea sets a tremendous example and is a fierce advocate for women in media, sports, and otherwise.Also early in my career, Georgia Frontiere, Carroll Rosenblooms widow and the owner of the Rams, approached me at a league social function. When she located me, Georgia explained that she had made a point of finding me so that she could tell me that she was excited to see a woman who was not related to ownership with a team and to offer her support. I was stunned that Georgia knew who I was and that she went to such an effort to locate me and to offer her encouragement. I was impressed by her graciousness and generosity.When I reflect upon Georgias graciousness and when I consider the support and encouragement Lesley and Andrea provided me over the course of my career (and that they still provide), I think about the maxim that women have a responsibility to support other women.The fact that these women supported and encouraged me is not lost on me when I share my view that I dont believe that women should support and encourage other women simply because they are women. To do so is not consistent with a gender-blind approach.Over the course of my career, I received support and encouragement from both women and men and I have offered my support and encouragement to both women and men.I support and encourage women when support and encouragement are warranted. I support and encourage men when support and encouragement are warranted. I dont think its fair for me to consider gender when interacting with others if I want others to interact with me without regard to mine.If we want men to treat us without regard to gender, then it strikes me as logical and right that we treat men without regard to gender. After all,gender blind is gender blind.IM NOT SUGGESTING THAT I didnt meet with any resistance during my career. Some of that resistance came from within the organization and some from outside of it.Some very prominent men -- some of whom are in the Hall of Fame, some of whom were or still are associated with the Raiders, and some of whom never were -- attempted for years to get Al to fire me. I know this because Al told me. He would giggle as he told me of the former coach, the former personnel executive, and a number of others who periodically urged him to get rid of me. Yes, Al giggled.Was some of that resistance gender based? I dont know. I never spent any time considering whether or not it was. Over the years, a number of men and women I respect have shared with me that they did and they do believe that such resistance was gender based. Somewhat recently, a few tremendously accomplished, successful women shared with me experiences they had with one of these men in particular, experiences which astonished me and which most certainly suggest gender bias. If this man communicated to these women that they werent welcome in meetings in which their male counterparts were welcome and that they were not qualified to do their jobs because of their gender, then its certainly plausible to think that he may have held the same views about me. So some of this resistance may have been gender-based. But if gender was the cause of such resistance, would I have changed my approach or conducted myself any differently? I am certain that the answer to that question is no.I have been told that I should have expressed an objection or protested any time I perceived a gender-based slight. The best protest is to succeed. My time and energy was best spent focusing on doing my job as best I could.Many people are surprised when I tell them that I never experienced what I believed to be any gender-based resistance from players, whether Raiders or those on other teams. Although others find this surprising, I do not. Players evaluate their teammates and others on performance. Are you blocking your man? Are you covering your receiver? Are you doing your job? Of course I recognize that Raiders players were aware of my working relationship with Al and the confidence he had in me, but that was not the case with all players throughout the league and yet they too accepted me without regard to gender. When I left, I was touched by how many former and current players contacted me -- far more than I would ever have imagined.One incident in which my gender was alluded to stands out, perhaps because I was surprised by the hypocrisy of it. Sometime not too long after DeMaurice Smith was first elected head of the players association, he and a group of union employees visited our facility to meet with our players. DeMaurice wished to speak with Al, but Al was unavailable and he asked me to greet DeMaurice in his stead.As I approached DeMaurice, one of the men in his group stepped between us, in what was an obvious effort to block me from DeMaurice and to keep me from speaking to him. As he inserted himself between us, this union employee asked: Whose secretary are you? Now this was 2009 or 2010. But whether it was 2009 or 2010, it was not 1940 or 1950. Whose secretary are you? I just stared at him.As I stood there stunned, considering how to proceed, Nolan Harrison (also a union employee and a former Raider) spotted me from across the room where he was speaking with a player, rushed over, and wrapped me in a giant hug.I dont know whether Nolan had noticed the interaction just described or whether he rushed over simply because he saw me and wanted to say hello.Nolan introduced me to the group of union employees, including the man who blocked me from introducing myself to DeMaurice. That man stepped aside -- a smidge -- but he didnt say anything, not a word. So lets get this straight: the union -- the very organization that advocates that owners and management should treat its members respectfully and professionally (which they should) -- had on its staff at least one person who concluded that because I am a woman, I must have been someones secretary? What did that tell me about the union leadership at that time? It old me that while advocating for respect for some, they werent affording that to all.As a quick aside, my history with Nolan involved the police and a gun aimed at me. I know that Nolan will not object to me sharing this story, as the only law he may have broken was that he may have been driving a bit over the speed limit, but no speeding ticket was issued. It was September 1994. We had played our season opener on a Monday night, in San Francisco. During the game, one of our players, Napoleon McCallum, suffered a terrible injury. I was told at the time it was life-threatening. I remember Napoleon laying on the field and Ken Norton Jr., who had tackled Napoleon, lying absolutely still under him for what seemed to be an eternity. Our medical staff had advised Ken that it was imperative that he stay absolutely still while they worked to stabilize Napoleons leg so that he could be transported to the hospital. Ken did not move and he did his best to keep Napoleons leg from moving. Ive had a soft spot for Ken Norton Jr. since that day.We lost the game -- badly. Jerry Rice set all sorts of records. It was a long night. We arrived back at the Los Angeles International Airport in the early-morning hours on Tuesday and then went to our facility to get our cars. As I was driving home, I saw police lights in my rearview mirror and immediately experienced that stomach-in-your-mouth feeling that you get when you think you are getting a ticket. I noticed, though, that there was a car between mine and the police car and I quickly realized that it was one of our players. It was Nolan.I immediately pulled to the side of the road just in front of Nolan, jumped from my car, and started running towards the policeman as he was approaching Nolans car. The officer immediately drew his gun, pointed it directly at me, and commanded me to stop where I was and to display my hands, which I did. It certainly wasnt unreasonable for a policeman to be concerned that someone running towards him in that situation might be armed. Even a small woman can have a gun.I stopped dead in my tracks and I began speaking very quickly -- even more quickly than I normally speak. I was blabbering that we had just played -- and lost -- a very emotional football game, that one of our teammates suffered a gruesome injury and was hospitalized in San Francisco. I just kept talking and talking. At one point, I looked at Nolan through the windshield of his car and saw him laughing, but trying not to let me see that he was. The officer holstered his gun. I thought that was a good sign so I approached him -- more slowly this time -- and I talked some more. Nolan just watched and smiled. Nolan didnt get a ticket. I didnt get shot.So it was fitting that Nolan was present when the union representative was barring my path to DeMaurice. Ill note though, that Nolan did not have to face a gun, as I did when I assisted him.ONE SILLY INSTANCE IN WHICH my gender was an issue involved a game of indoor football. Not too long after we relocated to Oakland and moved into our new facility, a group of us were relaxing in the hallway. Someone had a Nerf football and we started tossing it around. We then decided to have an impromptu, indoor football game. I grabbed the ball and said to Jim Otto: Hey Jim, why dont you be the center?Im quite a scout. I chose the Hall of Fame center, whom the Sporting News named as one of the top 100 best players of all time, to be the center in our indoor Nerf football game. Jim centered the ball and as I walked up to take the snap from under center, he started screaming shotgun, shotgun, shotgun in a somewhat high-pitched, shrill tone. Well, that was funny because as those who follow the Raiders know, the Raiders eschewed the shotgun formation, preferring instead to have the quarterback up under center. So, when Jim shouted shotgun, we all knew why he did -- he didnt want me up under center. We all laughed and agreed that this most certainly must have been the first time in the hallowed halls of the Raiders -- literally, the halls -- that someone had called for a shotgun formation.Jim played his first season for the Raiders in 1960, the year before I was born. There were no women involved in football during those years. Over the course of his life and his career, times had changed. Like Willie Brown, Jim and many others were experiencing a paradigm shift. Yet never once during my career did Willie or Jim or other Hall of Fame Raiders from a different era --Ted Hendricks, Gene Upshaw, George Blanda, Art Shell, or Fred Biletnikoff -- seem bothered by my gender. We didnt always agree about business matters. We had different views on a number of issues. Yet these men conducted themselves as if my gender was irrelevant. Jim just didnt want me up under center. He wanted me in shotgun.Again, I recognize that these men, like current players, were aware of my working relationship with Al and the confidence he had in me, but these were older, Hall of Fame players who did not have to concern themselves with the bosss views.NOT EVERY REFERENCE TO MY gender was as inconsequential. I found it both surprising and interesting that when I joined the organization, the strongest resistance I encountered was from the media covering the Raiders at that time. I was also surprised by the intensity of that resistance.I was about 11 years old at the time of the Watergate break-in and I grew up with a tremendous respect for journalists and an appreciation for the importance of the fourth estate. I considered journalism a noble profession, and for a period of time considered becoming a journalist. I think that it is because I held journalists in such high regard that I was as surprised as I was by this resistance.Over the years, when I have shared with female journalists and women in the media that I was surprised by the level of resistance from their male counterparts, they have looked at me as if I were nuts, and they have laughed. These women experienced this resistance on a regular basis. It was their reality. For some women, this still is their reality. I have a better understanding of this now than I did during my years with the Raiders and certainly, a much better understanding than I did when I began my career.One day very early in my career, I walked outside to the practice field to share some news with Al. It was toward the end of practice and as I waited on the sideline for an opening to speak with him, I stood near Gene Upshaw, who was watching practice that day. Gene was one of the best offensive linemen in the history of football, a Hall of Fame player, and a Raider -- a true Raider. He passed away in 2008.A group of writers stood near us and one walked closer and asked Gene in a very loud voice, clearly intended to carry, Whats it like having a girl working for the team?Gene towered over most people at 6-5 and 255 pounds. Standing next to Gene was like standing next to a pillar of granite. He looked as if he were chiseled from stone. His glare could wither people.Gene looked down at this writer and in an even louder, booming voice said: Shes not a girl, shes a Raider. . - Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is not a fan of his teams use of the wildcat formation, saying "it makes you look like a high school offence. . Reigning world champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland opened with a 12-2 rout of Winnipegs Jennifer Jones in a battle of teams bound for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. . -- Patrick Reed got an early start in golf. . How great will be revealed in the next couple of days at the board of governors meeting in Pebble Beach, Calif. . Soukalova missed only one target and completed the 15-kilometre course in 40 minutes, 32.6 seconds for both victories in this seasons individual discipline. Darya Domracheva of Belarus was second, 34. Narsingh Yadav said he was devastated at the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), which took him out of the Rio Games and handed him an immediate four-year suspension, but said he would fight to clear his name. starting today, His statement, which came soon after the CAS upheld an appeal from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against the clean chit given to the wrestler by NADA, was echoed by his sponsors in India.To say I am devastated at the decision of CAS would be putting it mildly, Narsingh said. I have gone through so much over the last two months off the mat but the thought of fighting for the glory of the nation at the Games had kept me going.Narsingh had tested positive for methandionene, a banned substance, on July 23, and was provisionally suspended. However, he was cleared by a NADA disciplinary panel on August 2, after they accepted Narsinghs sabotage theory - where he claimed his food had been spiked with illegal substances - and exonerated him of all charges.My dream of competing and winning the country a medal at the Rio Games has been cruelly snatched away from me twelve hours before my first fight, but I will do everything it takes to prove my innocence.dddddddddddd. It is all I have left to fight for, Narsingh said.JSW Sports, Narsinghs sponsors, continued to state that this was an act of sabotage that should be examined further. Narsingh is, first and foremost, an athlete of India who we proudly support and will continue doing so. Ever since he has earned a berth to represent the country at the Olympic Games, Narsingh has been put through an ordeal that no athlete should have to ever go through.We strongly believes in Narsinghs innocence and will stand by the wrestler in doing everything to fight for justice. We will be pressing for a review of the decision that WADA would be amenable to if further evidence is found pertaining to sabotage.Previously, Narsingh was involved in a controversy with double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar who was the other contender for the sole spot in the 74kg freestyle category. Sushil had challenged Narsinghs selection, but the court had ruled in the latters favour as he had earned the Olympic quota in the World Championships last year. 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