Deion Sanders Made the Right Decision

The decision by Deion Sanders to take the Colorado coaching job was the right one. He is taking much heat from the African-American community for it. But I believe those in the community who are being critical are coming from a personal perspective. In America we all work hard and try to make decisions that are in our own best interests as well as those of our family. But people are saying that he is a sellout. I don’t understand that thought process by people who are also trying to provide for their families. The success he had at Jackson State University, an HBCU, should be celebrated. But that does not mean he should stay there for a noble cause placed on him by other people.

One of the rumors circulating as to why he left Jackson State has to do with money. It has been reported that there was a clause in his contract that provided Sanders with a share of Jackson State’s attendance profits. However, there were rumblings that the school was not going to follow through on that promise, which would be a problem for anyone. Sanders has not confirmed or denied this rumor. But if true, I’m certain anyone would call foul and walk away. Another rumor is that cars that belonged to him and his family members were broken into numerous times. Also, his office was broken into during a Jackson State football game. Any of these incidents could cause someone to feel uneasy about staying put.

Let’s also consider that the school was paying a reported salary of $300,000 per year to Sanders, with half of it going back to the university to offset some of the football team’s expenses. His new contract with The University of Colorado will reportedly pay him $30 million over the next five years, with none of it going back to the school. People, especially black people, have been critical of him leaving an HBCU just to earn more money at a predominately white institution, saying he is a sell-out. I don’t think that’s a fair assessment because he helped build Jackson State into a powerhouse in only three years.(I will not talk about him saying God told him to go to Jackson State, because God can also tell him to take the Colorado job. In my opinion, religion is always personal. Even if you say it out loud).

I think that we as a community should stop projecting our personal views and perspectives onto the celebrities we follow. They are individuals with their own families to take care of. And they will make decisions that are in their best interests – not ours. If a celebrity takes on a noble cause, as Sanders did for Jackson State, then decides later that they want to move on, we should be happy they provided the support and wish them luck in their new challenge.

Kelvin Buckson

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