Retired All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch is helping to keep pro sports alive in his native Oakland, Calif.
Lynch told The Mercury News that he s part of the ownership group of the Oakland Panthers, which will begin play next spring in the Indoor Football League.
The Raiders are moving to Las Vegas after the 2019 season. The Golden State Warriors left Oakland and will begin play this fall at the new $1.4 billion Chase Center in San Francisco.
"This is a given. I'm in with this," Lynch, 33, said. "The [Raiders] will be leaving, but the fans will be here. This is a good opportunity and a good timing to where you will still have those fans, that community, and the pride they bring."
The Panthers will play at the recently renamed Oakland Arena, which was called Oracle Arena when the Warriors played there.
Lynch, who played collegiately at nearby Cal, was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He played three-plus seasons in Buffalo, then moved on to the Seattle Seahawks and retired after the 2015 season. He came out of retirement in 2017 to play two seasons for the Raiders.
In his career, he gained 12,593 yards from scrimmage and scored 93 touchdowns.