Barry Bonds’ charity organization, the Barry Bonds Family Foundation, has donated $20,000 to The National Association of Black Journalists.
The donation has stirred a bit of controversy, and it is not sitting well with some members of the NABJ. From the AP:
The gift comes as the former San Francisco Giants slugger prepares for trial on federal charges he lied to a grand jury about steroid use.
Association member Kenneth Cooper says Bonds is a controversial figure and journalists and their organizations should maintain their distance.
Bonds could go on trial in his never-ending perjury case at some point next year, and some members of the NABJ could end up covering the story, so any potential conflict of interest – or just as bad, the appearance of a conflict of interest – is a legitimate concern.
Then again, maybe it’s not that big a deal, as the money will be used to fund an “Entrepreneurial Spirit Award” named after Ray Taliaferro, a long-time Bay Area broadcaster. According to this report, Bonds wanted the award named after Taliaferro “in recognition of the broadcaster’s civic and public contributions to the San Francisco Bay Area.”
So what do you think HBT readers? Is it inappropriate for the NABJ to accept this donation, or is it much ado about nothing? Frankly, given his interactions with journalists over the years, I’m just amazed Bonds would give money to any of them.