National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle said yesterday a judge's ruling that the Raiders must return to their former home in Oakland points out the weakness of antitrust laws.
The Raiders moved from Oakland to Los Angeles this season after winning an antitrust suit in Los Angeles against the NFL, which sought to block the move.
"This development under-scores the inadequacy of the antitrust laws where, as in the earlier Los Angeles verdict, they failed to recognize legitimate community and public interests," Rozelle said yesterday in New York. "It highlights the need for congressional action to reconcile the conflict between the public interest, on the one hand, and misguided application of the antitrust laws on the other."
Monterey County (Calif.) Superior Court Judge Robert O'Farrell ordered the Raiders Friday to return to their former home for the 1983 season if the city of Oakland's eminent-domain suit is not settled by then.
The decision reinstated an earlier preliminary injunction barring the Raiders from leaving Oakland, although O'Farrell said they could remain in Los Angeles for the rest of this season. A trial to decide whether the team can be taken over and kept in Oakland is expected to be held next spring. The city of Oakland is attempting to take over the team by invoking eminent domain, a power normally used to force the sale of land for parks and roads.