Raiders Legends Al Davis (in memoriam), Fred Biletnikoff, and Raymond Chester were inducted into the Gridiron Greats Hall of Fame Friday night at a gala event in Las Vegas. Chie Smith, wife of former Raider Steve Smith received the Sylvia Mackey Woman of the Year Award. Steve Smith is battling ALS.
Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund, Inc., hosted the annual Mike Ditka Hall of Fame weekend, which included a golf outing and the Hall of Fame induction.
Raiders Owner Mark Davis presented his father Al Davis for induction.
"If he were here with us today he would say the things he did for players and former players aren't for awards. He did it because it was the right thing to do," Mark Davis said. "The Raiders' motto is 'Once a Raider, Always a Raider.' We've always believed that the alumni is one of our most valuable assets."
Mark Davis presented a donation of $10,000 to Gridiron Greats, and another $10,000 to Chie Smith.
"The life she is creating for Steve even through the ALS is absolutely amazing," said Mark Davis. "Chie, you're my hero tonight."
JT the Brick served as Master of Ceremonies and he had a chance to speak with Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, who spoke very highly of Al Davis.
"The Raiders are a great part of the National Football League and always have been," Ditka said. "Al was a great owner and a great friend and a great guy. If there weren't people like Al Davis, the NFL wouldn't be one-tenth as good as it is today."
About Gridiron Greats
The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund (GGAF) is a non-stock, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization providing financial grants and 'pro bono' medical assistance to retired NFL players in dire need. The organization focuses on the humanitarian side of post-football related issues, which include coordination of social services to retired players who are in need due to a variety of reasons including inadequate disability and/or pensions. The GGAF's mission is to assist dire need retired NFL players who were pioneers of the game and who have greatly contributed to the NFL's status as the most popular sport in America. GGAF provides hands-on assistance to help retired players and their families deal with hardships they face after football. The services include medical assistance, transportation costs for medical evaluations and surgeries, housing assistance, financial assistance for utilities, medication, and coordination of services for food, automotive payments and childcare.