Former Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman was a strong supporter of the efforts to keep the team in San Diego. But now that its owners have made the decision to move to Los Angeles, Merriman is staying loyal to the franchise that he represented in the Pro Bowl three times.
"I was upset just like everybody in San Diego and rightfully so," Merriman says. "I thought they had an opportunity to stay in San Diego. San Diego is a great place to play.
"It's the team that drafted me 12th overall, so obviously my support is going to still be with them. I still have guys, who are friends, on the team, so I'm going to support them. I'll be at some games this year. But I'd definitely let it be known that I wanted them to be in San Diego."
The Chargers will play two seasons at StubHub Center in Carson, the home of the MLS' L.A. Galaxy. In 2019, they will shift to the new NFL stadium, which they'll share with the Rams, at Hollywood Park in Inglewood.
Meanwhile the Raiders will be leaving Oakland for Las Vegas.
"I played there when the team wasn't that great, and the fans still came out and supported," Merriman says of Oakland. "And now that they are having some success, you hate to see them get up and leave. So with that being said, I feel bad for the fans. But you know, I don't mind going and playing a little blackjack and watch the Raiders."
Merriman was attending the annual Sports Spectacular event, which helps Cedars-Sinai in the fight against diabetes and obesity.