In 2020, athletes are speaking up like never before.
Unfortunately, some of them have also opened their mouths when they should have kept them shut.
Deion Sanders, come on down.
“All Players OPTING out in all sports PLEASE BELIEVE the game will go on without u. This is a business & don’t u EVER forget that. There’s NO ONE that’s bigger than the game itself. Only the ref, umps & officials are that important that u can’t play without them. NOT YOU! #Truth,” Sanders recently tweeted, as if he were the sports version of Dr. Fauci.
Before we get into why Prime Time’s tweet is so problematic, I’d like to point out that he doesn’t even know the history of the game he loves so much.
Football was created by college students. And no matter how big the NFL is, football always has been, and always will be, a college sport. Since Sanders believes that “only the ref, umps, and officials are that important that you can’t play without them,” he should know that football didn’t have any of those when it was created. When Rutgers and New Jersey (Princeton) played what’s considered the first college football game in 1869, there wasn’t a referee on the field. So when you think about it, the players are bigger than any, and every, game.
Now, back to the serious stuff.
According to a report from the Washington Post, cardiovascular experts are concerned that athletes who recover from Covid-19 could deal with serious heart conditions.
“We have very strong, serious concerns about the potential for Covid to affect athletes cardiovascularly,” Michael Emery, co-director of the sports cardiology department at the Cleveland Clinic, told the Washington Post. “When you look at Covid in general, there seems to be a higher predilection for involvement with the heart than about any other virus we’ve seen.”
The report goes on to say that some research has shown that as many as 20 percent of people who recover from coronavirus have cardiac abnormalities. Another study found that of the 100 patients that had recovered from Covid-19, 78 percent of them experiences some type of cardiac abnormality, while another 60 percent had inflammation consistent with myocarditis.
Yet Sanders somehow believes that athletes need sports, not the other way around. Sadly, Sanders’ tweet wasn’t out of the norm if you’ve paid attention to some of the things he’s done outside of football. Some in Texas are still feeling the effects of the debacle that took place in 2016 when his charter school folded.
“The issues with Prime Prep started before Prime Prep was even formed,” school board President T. Christopher Lewis told the Dallas Morning News in 2016, in an article titled “The spectacular collapse of Deion Sanders’ Prime Prep Academy.”
“That was the ultimate demise of the financial situation … I will always have a great deal of regret that we couldn’t take a great idea and great opportunity and do more with it,” Lewis explained.
And when Sanders was asked about the school from which he was fired, rehired, fired, and rehired — a school which was supposed to “create CEOs; succeed where other public schools failed; and do good in the hood” — he had this to say:
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard all year.”
Way to use your words, Deion.
In a moment in which things are getting real, Sanders is reminiscent of a counterfeit bill when you hold it up to the light.