Raiders’ prep do­na­tion draw­ing mostly si­lence

San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday) - - PAGE 2 -

Mys­tery of the Month: Did the Raiders chop-block the other Bay Area pro sports teams with an act of shame­less grand­stand­ing?

That’s the way The Chron­i­cle’s Matier & Ross pre­sented the sit­u­a­tion last week, and I have found no ev­i­dence to over­turn their judg­ment.

The deal: The Oak­land school district bun­gled its way to a large bud­get short­fall, forc­ing the death of sev­eral high school sports. The 49ers were ready to step up with a do­na­tion, per M&R, but they first reached out to other Bay Area teams with the idea of mak­ing a group do­na­tion.

A joint an­nounce­ment was sched­uled for Aug. 29, but the Raiders an­nounced their own $250,000 do­na­tion the night be­fore.

Grand­stand­ing? Big­foot­ing? I did find this: It’s a very sen­si­tive topic. The Raiders’ an­nounce­ment left the im­pres­sion that the other teams then backed out of their planned do­na­tions.

It would seem an easy mat­ter for those other teams to say they ei­ther did or did not do­nate to the Oak­land schools. In­stead, I got a va­ri­ety of non­re­sponses and tap-danc­ing.

Only the War­riors went on the record. Team pres­i­dent Rick Welts did so re­luc­tantly, stress­ing his team is not look­ing for ku­dos.

Said Welts, “I be­lieve we have com­mit­ted — past, pre­sent and fu­ture — more fi­nan­cial gifts and pro­gram­ming to Oak­land not-for-prof­its and schools than any team, and will con­tinue to do so in the fu­ture when we play in San Fran­cisco.”

It’s tricky ter­ri­tory. All teams do­nate to char­i­ties. I have no idea how the var­i­ous Bay Area teams stack up on the do­na­tion power rank­ings. Be­sides, the Oak­land schools sit­u­a­tion is just one of many cri­sis hot spots in need of a bailout. The pro teams can’t help ’em all.

But if the Raiders did stage a grand­stand play, that would be cringe-wor­thy. Why would they do such a thing? To boost their stock in the face of in­creas­ing Oak­land fan ire about the move to Las Ve­gas? Be­cause they are the Raiders and feel like nobody loves them, so they’re look­ing for a lit­tle Aretha?

Re­gard­less, the Raiders’ do­na­tion goes to a good cause — as­sum­ing the same schoold­is­trict bun­glers don’t spend that money on a pizza party for them­selves.

And it’s the least the Raiders could do af­ter leav­ing Oak­land on the hook for the re­main­der of pay­ments on Mount Mon­stros­ity.

One thing seems clear: Bay Area sports teams are not one big happy fam­ily.

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