BONDS MARKET: HE'S GOT NO ENDORSEMENTS, NOT EVEN FREE SHOES
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).