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BONDS MARKET: HE'S GOT NO ENDORSEMENTS, NOT EVEN FREE SHOES
Published March 11, 1998
The MLB Giants' Barry Bonds was profiled by Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY BASEBALL WEEKLY. Bonds spoke about his career, his relationship with the media and the fact that he has no endorsement deals. Bonds: "Look, white America is only going to hand-pick so many black players to be a spokesman. What can you say, I wasn't the chosen one." On his bad-boy image: "I see guys doing stuff and saying stuff 10 times worse than me and they get away with everything. Come on, dude, you think if I stayed in a separate hotel from the team like Cal Ripken nothing would be said?" (USA TODAY BASEBALL WEEKLY, 3/11 issue). NIKE SAYS FILA LATER: Bonds "may be the only player in all of baseball who doesn't get free shoes." While not under contract, he had been getting shoes from Nike and certificates worth $2,000 in apparel. But after wearing Filas in a series last September, Nike ended the free shoes and gift certificates. Bonds: "Nike got so (teed) off. They tell me, 'We don't need Barry Bonds.' I've got to be the only three-time MVP who has got to buy his own shoes." Nike Dir of Baseball Sports Marketing Bill Frishette said, "We made an offer to him four or five years ago, before [Ken] Griffey was even taken care of. ... [S]ix figures, and he turned us down. His quote to me was: 'I've won more MVPs than Charles Barkley, so I should get paid more than Barkley. It's not worth it to me.' I told him it doesn't work that way" (USA TODAY BASEBALL WEEKLY, 3/11 issue).