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Barry Bonds motions to fans during a San Francisco Giants 50th Anniversary celebration before the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 9, 2008 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Max Morse/Getty Images)
Retired slugger Barry Bonds was never known for being nice to reporters, but now he's giving them money ahead of his perjury trial.
Bonds' foundation donated $20,000 to The National Association of Black Journalists to fund an "Entrepreneurial Spirit Award" to be named after longtime Bay Area broadcaster Ray Taliaferro. Rich athletes donating money usually is applauded, but this gift is sparking controversy. NABJ member Kenneth Cooper told The Associated Press Bonds is a controversial figure and journalists and their organizations should maintain their distance.
The donation comes as Bonds prepares for his trial on federal charges he lied to a grand jury about steroid use. Bonds is the Major Leagues' all-time home run leader, but his monstrous numbers were compiled under a cloud of suspicion. He was at the center of an investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative, which was found to have supplied performance enhancing drugs to pro athletes. In 2003, Bonds' trainer was indicted, and later that year Bonds testified to a grand jury that used a substance he believed was merely a balm made of flaxseed oil but which prosecutors say was a steroid.
A 2006 book. "Game of Shadows," written by sportswriters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, alleged Bonds used stanozolol and a host of other steroids.
Bonds hit 762 home runs during his career and was a seven time league Most Valuable Player.