The Oakland Raiders donated $50,000 to a foundation honoring a former legend’s murdered daughter in the hopes of taking a stand against domestic violence.
Cheers erupted as Raiders’ owner Mark Davis presented a check on Monday to Fred and Angela Biletnikoff at the Biletnikoff Foundation’s annual golf tournament in Pleasanton.
Fred Biletnikoff, a legendary player who played 14 seasons for the Raiders and then coached the team until 2007, lost his 20 year old daughter Tracey Biletnikoff in 1999 when she was strangled to death by her boyfriend Mohammed Haroon Ali. Just after Tracey was killed, her family established the Biletnikoff Foundation to support young and at-risk adults dealing with domestic violence and substance abuse.
Davis said that domestic violence is an issue that hits home for the Raider family.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to work with this tremendous organization and assist them in reaching the ultimate goal: ending domestic violence and sexual assault,” he said.
The donation comes at a time when the NFL is trying to recover from a year of player entanglement with domestic violence cases: From Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens who was videotaped knocking out his fiancé in an elevator to Minnesota Viking’s Adrian Peterson who was suspended during the 2014 season for pleading “no contest” to misdemeanor and reckless assault.
The Raiders say their donation to the Biletnikoff Foundation is more than just a monetary one, the team wants the public to know that the team taking a leading role to curb domestic violence by helping with the nonprofit’s public service campaigns.
A spokeswoman for the Raiders told NBC Bay Area that Monday's donation is part of a larger call to action. "We want to call on the Raider Nation and the entire world to help end domestic violence and sexual assault, not only through personal responsibility but also through educating our youth,” the spokeswoman said.
The Biletnikoffs plan to use the funds towards a longstanding project called Tracey’s Place of Hope which is a residential recovery program for at-risk young women. The money will go toward improvements on the home.
“This is a goal that we’ve been wanting to attain for three years now, it has been a three-year, half-million dollar project and the Raiders just let us cross the finish line,” Angela Biletnikoff said in a statement.