Raiders donate $250,000 to help save Oakland school sports

- On the tennis courts at Oakland Technical High School, the Oakland Raiders presented a check for $250,000 to help the school district keep its competitive sports program afloat at least until spring.

The team also kicked in athletic equipment for the sports that were at risk.

“When we read the program was in jeopardy, the students dreams were in jeopardy, we had to step in," said Raiders team president Marc Badain.

One girl’s tennis player at Oakland Tech says she's thankful her sport has been rescued.

"I was so relieved and grateful for what they did. It makes me proud to be a part of the Oakland community and how willing they were to help OUSD out," said Oakland Tech student Mari Takata.

Last week the Oakland Unified School District announced it was cutting 10 high school sports programs district wide to save $500,000 in the budget.

But then the district realized of the 500 students affected, the vast majority were girls, a possible violation of federal title 9 laws.

"I know for myself I can beat any boy that I want to in a sport. So seeing they didn't respect title 9, like girls, they can be cut, I was very frustrated." said Andrea Zak-Lee, who plays lacrosse.

The district then announced a donor had come forward with enough money to reinstate three sports.

Now, thanks to the Raiders, the district says it now has enough money to cover the fall and winter sports. It is still trying to raise money for the spring.

"Lots of people are frustrated. But there are also people who have your back like the Raiders. That makes me feel like I am supported," said Zak-Lee.

While the donations will help for this year, the district says it needs to come up with a long range plan so student athletes don't have to deal with this again next year and beyond. 
 

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