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Coach Deion Sanders Upset with Reporter Who Called Him by First Name

The reporter allegedly referred to other coaches at the event by their first name

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"Deion Sanders" by Thomson20192 is licensed under CC BY
By: Alyssa Wilson

Jackson State University coach and former NFL player Deion Sanders let it be known that he should be addressed as “coach.”  

During a Southwestern Athletic Conference media day event on Tuesday, a Clarion Ledger reporter referred to him as “Deion.” The Super Bowl champion responded to the reporter saying, “You don’t call Nick Saban, ‘Nick’,” referring to the coach of Alabama’s football team. “Don’t call me Deion. If you call Nick [Saban] Nick, you’ll get cussed out on the spot, so don’t do that to me. Treat me like Nick.”  

When the reporter referred to Sanders as “Deion” again, the star athlete stood up and walked away. According to ESPN, Sanders clarified he did not leave the event, and instead went to speak to another news outlet. Sanders also tweeted, “Please don’t allow a fool to fool u because then nobody would truly know who the fool is.”  

The Clarion Ledger reporter, who was identified as Nick Suss, said, “When I interview people, I call them by their first name. Whether it’s someone I’ve been working with for years or someone I’m talking to for the first time,” he said. “This is true of the coaches and players on the Ole Miss beat, the coaches and players at Mississippi State and Southern Miss when I help out covering their teams, as recently as January; even Sanders, too.”  

Jackson went 4-3 in his first year as the coach for the HBCU, the Clarion Ledger reported. He has been vocal about the lack of talent being drafted from football programs like the one he leads.  

RELATED: ‘Neglected & Rejected’: No HBCU Players Selected in 2021 NFL Draft 

During the 2021 NFL Draft, no players from HBCUs were selected. Sanders posted on social media to express his frustrations, writing, “And we have the audacity to hate on one another while our kids are being NEGLECTED & REJECTED. I witnessed a multitude of kids that we played against that were more than qualified to be drafted. My prayers are that this won’t EVER happen again. Get you knife out of my back and fight with me not against me.”