Oakland street to be named after 'Griz Jones,' Raiders superfan who died of cancer

The Godfather Griz Jones, via Greg Jones Facebook

A street near the Coliseum will soon be named after the late Raiders superfan Gregory Jones, who was known for his philanthropy, epic tailgate parties and deep love of Oakland.

The city council voted unanimously Tuesday to rename 66th Avenue and Coliseum Way as "Godfather Griz Jones Way" after the legendary fan who died in 2022, as first reported by the Oaklandside.

Widely known as "The Godfather," Jones organized regular tailgates on 66th Avenue before games to raise money for Oakland charities. The events became such a community staple, that people referred to that part of the street as M.O.B. Alley, reference to Make Oakland Better, the charity founded by Jones.

Jones was often seen pictured with friends cleaning up the streets of Oakland. And of course, at Raiders games. He also led an organization called Forever Oakland that fought to keep the Raiders and also supported local causes. 

A Facebook Live by Angela Borricua Tirado, who serves as secretary of Forever Oakland, captured his friends' reactions to the announcement of the new street name.

"He deserved this, he made us who we are," his friends said. "We're keeping his legacy alive." 

"Every person, regardless if you're an Oaklander or not, should strive to do what they can to emulate what Godfather Griz Jones did," his friends said after the city council vote. "Do what you can to not only do what you can to make Oakland better, but the world better."

Jones died of cancer at age 52 in July 2022, and many leaders in Oakland mourned the loss.

ALSO: Raiders, community mourn loss of Oakland super fan 'Griz' Jones

"Griz Jones was Oakland to the bone," former Mayor Libby Schaaf tweeted. "More than just a die-hard sports fan, Griz built a community — and put that community to work in service of Oakland. Love, respect and gratitude to Griz and the 66th St. Mob. #ForeverOakland"

Councilman Loren Taylor also tweeted about Jones, saying he was  a "true champion of all things Oakland."

Without him, Taylor said, there will be a "huge gap in our community that can never fully be replaced." 

‘The Godfather Griz Jones,’ Raiders superfan, photo via Greg Jones Facebook.