According to the slogan, the NFL’s Raiders are committed to excellence.
Dan Holmgren said they do compassion pretty well, too.
Holmgren was the driver who left his limousine in the staging line at Caesars Palace on Jan. 28 to say hello to Raiders owner Mark Davis and president Marc Badain, who were standing near the main entrance.
He was terminated by Abraham Limo Service shortly after the chance meeting.
A story was posted on the Review-Journal’s website Thursday evening. The next morning, Holmgren received a phone call from Badain. The Raiders’ executive expressed his regret, Holmgren said, and indicated there might be an employment opportunity for Holmgren with the team when it relocates from Oakland to Las Vegas for the 2020 season.
“He told me he’s got this guy who used to drive Mr. (Al) Davis around, and when they get here they’re going to start their own transportation business, and can I give (Davis’ former driver) your number,” Holmgren, 53, said.
Holmgren had been employed by Abraham Limo for only a few weeks. The violation for which he was terminated is not covered in the employee handbook, he said. Nor was it discussed during training.
After multiple attempts to contact Abraham Limo Service, the RJ received a statement from the company’s owner via email this week.
“This is an unfortunate set of circumstances,” wrote president and CEO Abraham Mulugeta. “Like any business offering a luxury service, we are expected to adhere to a certain code of conduct, policy and procedures by our clients. While I can appreciate that Mr. Holmgren is an avid Raiders fan, as am I, approaching Mr. Davis while he was working violated that code of conduct. This happened within his first 90 days probationary period.”
Lots of support
Holmgren, who grew up in the Bay Area and has maintained affinity for Oakland’s sports teams since moving to Las Vegas in 2002, said he was surprised by reaction to the story. In addition to receiving the call from Badain, he has done radio and television interviews and was invited to attend a Lights FC soccer game and sit in owner Brett Lashbrook’s box.
The Lights offered to pick him up in a limo, he said.
“Guys I used to work with, whom I haven’t seen in years, have called out of the blue,” Holmgren said. “(They said) you really got fired just for that?”
In addition to the overture from the Raiders, Holmgren said he has received job offers from other limousine companies since his story went public.
“My mom used to say when one door closes that’s when another one opens,” he said. “When Marc Badain called, he said I think I’ve got a door that’s going to open for you.”