Lance Williams (pictured), who was part of the Chronicle team that reported on Barry Bonds’ ties to steroids, says Bonds’ donation of $20,000 to the National Association of Black Journalists is fraught with irony:
- Throughout his long and exciting baseball career, the former San Francisco Giants star – now retired and awaiting trial on perjury charges – routinely treated the journalists assigned to cover him like dirt.
- … it was especially true in San Francisco during the pressure-packed years when Bonds was driving to break Hank Aaron’s home run record, even as federal agents were investigating him for using steroids from the BALCO drug lab.
- In those days, the writers and broadcasters covering the home run chase endured grief, static and jacking around from the Giants star, along with occasional physical threats. In giving the press a hard time, Bonds wasn’t status conscious.
- He once invited Rick Reilly, then the superstar columnist for Sports Illustrated, to San Francisco for an exclusive interview, kept him waiting around for five days, and then told him to get lost.