A jury that deliberated for only a few hours found Wednesday that the Oakland Raiders didn't engage in age discrimination when they fired two veteran scouts three years ago.
In their verdict, jurors ruled that age wasn't a substantial motivating factor in the team's decision to dismiss Bruce Kebric and Jon Kingdon, who each had more than 30 years of experience as scouts, on May 1, 2012. Kingdon was 59 at the time and Kebric was 68.
The scouts' attorney, Barbara Lawless, alleged in her closing argument on Tuesday that Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis wanted to get rid of older people and bring in younger people when they reshuffled the team in 2012.
Davis took over as the Raiders' owner in October 2011 after the death of his father Al Davis, the team's longtime leader. He hired McKenzie as general manager on Jan. 6, 2012. Referring to McKenzie's dismissal of Kingdon and Kebric, Lawless said, "He threw them out on the street and replaced them with less experienced younger people he didn't know well."
But the Raiders' lawyer, David Reis, said in his closing argument, "This case is not about age discrimination because no one made decisions because of age."
Reis said McKenzie was simply "a new general manager who brought in his own people" and said he replaced Kingdon and Kebric because he didn't think they were good leaders and communicators.
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