Jackson State Tigers head football coach Deion Sanders cut short his interview on Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) media day when a reporter called him by his first name instead of coach, ESPN reports.
According to HuffPost, Sanders was answering questions on video for a SWAC media event when Nick Suss, a writer with Clarion-Ledger, addressed the Hall of Famer by his first name.
“Back up a little bit. You don’t call Nick Saban ‘Nick,’” Sanders said, referring to Alabama coach Nick Saban. “Don’t call me Deion.”
“I call Nick Saban ‘Nick.’ I’ll call you Deion,” Suss replied.
“No, you don’t. No, you don’t. That’s a lie,” Sanders responded.“If you call Nick ‘Nick’ you get cussed out on the spot. So don’t do that and treat me like Nick.”
Sanders chuckled while telling the reporter how he wanted to be addressed but when Suss called him “Deion” again, he proved more than serious and walked away.
After the presser, Sanders took to Twitter to explain why he abruptly left and pivoted to the next reporter.
“Never walked out of media day,” Sanders’ tweet read. “I prolonged my time to answer another question & the person thought it was cute to address me the way he did so I dropped the call & went to the next outlet. Please don’t allow a fool to fool u because then nobody would truly know who the fool is.”
Never walked out of media day. I prolonged my time to answer another question & the person thought it was cute to address me the way he did so I dropped the call & went to the next outlet. Please don’t allow a fool to fool u because then nobody would truly know who the fool is. https://t.co/csbTRNgJvd
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) July 20, 2021
Suss explained that it was his practice to call coaches and athletes that he covers by their first names.
“When I interview people, I call them by their first name,” Suss told the Clarion-Ledger.
“Whether it’s someone I’ve been working with for years or someone I’m talking to for the first time,” he continued. “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 and, as recently as January, even Sanders, too.”
As Blavity previously reported, Sanders made a historic move by accepting the position of head coach of Jackson State. Since his arrival, he has not been shy about giving his opinions on how he believes HBCU’s are not regarded the same as other schools.
“To change the culture, you’ve got to change the people. If I was in church, the organ would have hit me right then,” Sanders said to the Clarion-Ledger. “
“You all know what we signed,” he added. “You know what we’ve got coming in here, you know how we evaluate and what needs to go and what needs to stay. If you don’t do your job, what happens? This is that kind of business. This is how it is.”