ESPN’s Bomani Jones took a photo of Deion Sanders on Tuesday as he started his new job as head coach of the University of Colorado Buffaloes.
Sanders has made headlines in recent years for helping revive a much smaller football program at Jackson State University, an HBCU (historically black college or university).
“He sold his dream and then walked away from it. People have a right to criticize that,” Jones told Sanders on “CNN This Morning.”
The Right Time With Bomani Jones host also mocked Sanders for his belief in God. “He made it clear that God sent him to coach at an HBCU, ‘so when you leave, yes, people will ask questions.’
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Sanders spent three seasons at Jackson State and dominated the college football scene with a 27-5 record. It will advance to the highest level of NCAA football by joining Colorado in the Pac-12 Conference.
“Now, I don’t always go to the sales pitch,” Jones said of Sanders, also known by his nickname “Coach Prime.” But CNN tried to stir up drama, airing the cheesy “Critics accuse Deion Sanders of ‘selling out’ for leaving HBCU.”
While Jones refused to publicly call Sanders a “salesman,” he instead chose to compare him to “the monorail salesman from The Simpsons.” In an episode of The Simpsons, the con man and salesman lured the citizens of Springfield into investing in the city. persuades to build a monorail instead.
“He came in” and “sold a big dream,” Jones added.
Jones criticized Sanders, saying his vision for rebuilding the Jackson State football program was impossible. “If you paid attention, you knew the dream he was selling was impossible, it was impossible for him to come true, but he sold it and convinced people and then he left,” he said.
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Sanders has been widely praised for helping turn around the Jackson State University football team, for which he was interviewed by “60 Minutes.” Sanders, an accomplished athlete who played pro football and even pro baseball, told 60 Minutes that he would “cut” if he got an offer from a strong school.
“I’m going to be stupid,” he said.
NewsBusters editor-in-chief Curtis Hawke said Jones was criticized for hosting Game Theory with Bomani Jones, a “woke sports talk” program on HBO. The show premiered in March and garnered only 53,000 viewers in its second week of airtime, to little acclaim. Jones’ show featured segments on “systemic injustice” in the NFL and the issue of “white coaches” and racism.
Radio host Charlamagne Tha God recently hit back at Sanders’ critics on his show, The Breakfast Club.
“What have you done for an HBCU lately? You can’t criticize Deion Sanders if you’ve never donated to an HBCU! If you have something to say and haven’t donated to an HBCU, shut the F up forever!” said Charlamagne.
FOX News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.