ALAMEDA – The Raiders played the 49ers in a charity basketball game on Friday night. Coach Dennis Allen wasn’t happy about it.
He cautioned against playing in such an exhibition, saying the injury risk was far too great at this point in the offseason. That was in private, before the game.
He re-iterated those sentiments in public on Monday afternoon, despite the fact his charges made it through unscathed.
“I’m happy that we were able to get through that without an injuries,” Allen said. “I think the intent is right, to raise money for charity. I wasn’t in agreement with the way in which they went about doing it. They’re paid to play football. Anytime you do something like this, you’re taking a significant risk. These are grown men, and they make decisions on what they want to do with their personal time. That was a decision those guys took part in. Again, I’m just glad we were able to get out of it without any injuries. My focus is solely on this team, and this team getting better.”
Strong safety Tyvon Branch was the most prominent Raider to play in the game. Latavius Murray, who took some flak for playing despite not being able to practice earlier in the week with an ankle injury, was also out there. Brice Butler, Andre Holmes and Chimdi Chekwa played as well.
There was an inherent risk involved, and the players understood it.
“I think anytime you have a chance to get out there and give back to the community and get involved in anything charitable, I’m all for it,” Branch said.”To me, I just want to be out there and have fun with the community.
“I guess that’s at your discretion what you want to do in the offseason. We understand the risks involved in working out. Any time you’re working out away from the facility, you put yourself at risk. But guys do what they have to do to stay in shape. Everybody does it differently.”