DEION SANDERS: How you doing, everybody?
ROLAND MARTIN: Prime Time.
SYBIL WILKES: Good morning.
TOM JOYNER: Good morning, Prime. What’s going on, man?
DEION SANDERS: Nothing much.
ROLAND MARTIN: So Deion, let’s get right to it. So here’s a guy, in the league six years, never been in trouble, considered very involved in community service, things like that, in Philadelphia. Then all of the sudden the story drops, he gets cut, and is it fair or unfair what’s been done to him now with people thinking, oh, my God, he’s a gang member. He was throwing gang signs in a game.
DEION SANDERS: He was not throwing gang signs. First and foremost I know this kid. He was on my team at the Pro Bowl and he’s a good kid. Now, does he come with luggage? Yes. He’s a wide receiver. (Laughter) Everybody knows wide receivers are divas. I have not played with a wide receiver that was not a diva. And I played with Michael Irvin, and I played Andre Risen, I played with Jerry Rice. Should I keep going? Because I played on several teams. ROLAND MARTIN: Okay, okay, okay.
SYBIL WILKES: You made your point.
TOM JOYNER: Point made, point made.
DEION SANDERS: So they just come with a lot of luggage, but he is not a gang member or affiliated with a gang. Does he have his homies with him every now and then? Yes he does. And this is who DeSean is.
ROLAND MARTIN: But Deion, here’s the other thing, here’s a kid who went to school in California. And I heard non-athletes make this point that cats grew up in neighborhoods with dudes who we know are gangsters.
DEION SANDERS: Right.
ROLAND MARTIN: Who we know are gang members or we know are a little rough around the edges. And there were folks who said; no, bro, you are not going to go this route, we are going to keep you away from this. And when you go back home it’s not like you ignore those folks, I’m now in the NFL so I can’t talk to you. So what do you just make of these sources dropping this sort of stuff out there. It sort of smears the kid.
DEION SANDERS: Well, the thing about it, when you’re successful you have the propensity to bring with you what was there for you when you was a kid. I had an uncle that was not my uncle but he was the biggest dope dealer in the city, but he made sure I wasn’t selling dope, so he kept my pockets fat. So when I made it I felt I was responsible to grab him and bring him out. Was he still selling dope? No. But was he my homie? Yes. As a matter of fact he’s still here; he’s my uncle Billy that everybody knows about that’s always with me. So you keep those ties and those bonds because they’ve been faithful and loyal to you. And when you’re on your way up it’s very intoxicating. And you don’t want to gravitate to new friends; you want to keep those old friends regardless of where they matriculated from. So I really like DeSean and what he’s doing. You got to understand his coach. His coach does not value receivers. I don’t have any receivers that have made it to the NFL from Oregon. I know there’s no good ones because I don’t know him. (Laughter). So he does not value receivers, he values his scheme.
ROLAND MARTIN: Right.
DEION SANDERS: He feels as though his scheme is what’s going to make the team great, not players.
SYBIL WILKES: You’re talking about the college where Kelly coached.
DEION SANDERS: Coach Kelly.
TOM JOYNER: Deion, they couldn’t trade him?
DEION SANDERS: No.
TOM JOYNER: They had to let him go and he went, of all places, to the Washington Washington Football Team?
DEION SANDERS: But the reason they couldn’t trade him …
TOM JOYNER: Did they hate him that much? Yeah, why couldn’t they trade him?
DEION SANDERS: Because everyone knows if you don’t trade him you don’t want to give up what they want in return.
ROLAND MARTIN: So the teams knew …
DEION SANDERS: He’s going to be on sale. He’s going to be on sale in a minute.
ROLAND MARTIN: Right. The teams knew he was going to get cut.
DEION SANDERS: Right. Why would I train …
ROLAND MARTIN: So they say we’re just going to sit back and wait.
DEION SANDERS: … and give up something when I know you’re going on sale in a minute.
TOM JOYNER: Well, why would the Eagles not try to trade and …
DEION SANDERS: They did try.
TOM JOYNER: They did. And no one would go for it though.
DEION SANDERS: No, because they knew if they did they would just …
TOM JOYNER: Yeah, he’d be on sale soon, I gotcha.
DEION SANDERS: You can’t trade someone right before the draft. You got a 100 players ready to come out of the draft, why would you want to trade right now when you about to get what you want anyway?
ROLAND MARTIN: Is it a good deal for the Washington Washington Football Team?
DEION SANDERS: It’s a great deal because now he’s in the same division. He’s upset, he’s mad, he’s refocused, he’s rededicated …
ROLAND MARTIN: And they played twice.
DEION SANDERS: … because you got to understand with a professional player, when someone cuts you, that’s almost the first time in your life that you’re going through somebody not wanting you. That means this is the first time that someone is telling you; man, nobody wants you. You know how devastating that is to a young man?
TOM JOYNER: I can imagine, yeah.
SYBIL WILKES: Was there any talk of him going to the Jets the way they did …
DEION SANDERS: That would be the last thing he would want to do, to go to the Jets. The Jets is not going to win. You want to go somewhere at least who is going to win.
J ANTHONY BROWN: Why aren’t the Jets going to win? Why won’t they win?
DEION SANDERS: They same reason they didn’t win last year or the year before. (Laughter) And they’re in the division with who? New England. ROLAND MARTIN: But Deion, to your point, by him being with the Washington Football Team, he now gets to play the Eagles twice …
DEION SANDERS: Twice.
ROLAND MARTIN: … a year.
DEION SANDERS: Twice. They got to see you twice. Then you have someone that could throw it if he gets his stuff together. Ozzie III.
TOM JOYNER: Uh-huh. He’s got a weapon?
DEION SANDERS: Yes.
SYBIL WILKES: So before you go, Deion, what do you think about all of this talk about Roland’s boy, Johnny Football, Johnny Manzel in all of the conversation about him?
DEION SANDERS: Oh, please. I love Johnny Football. See, the reason people won’t accept Johnny Football is because Johnny Football has ghetto tendencies. I love Johnny Football.
TOM JOYNER: He’s got ghetto tendencies?
ROLAND MARTIN: He’s got ghetto tendencies? What are ghetto tendencies, Prime Time?
DEION SANDERS: Because he was successful, he made it, and he let you all know he made it, and he was cocky, he was flamboyant, and he let you know.
ROLAND MARTIN: So he was a white Prime Time coming out of college.
DEION SANDERS: Thank you. And I love him. (Laughter) I love him. They had the music playing when he came in. Put his whole equipment up, who go out there all do your pro day with all your equipment on? (Laughter) That’s some hula stuff, I love Johnny Football.
ROLAND MARTIN: Well, as an Texas A&M Aggie I love Johnny O’Neil too.
DEION SANDERS: But they thought they were cheerleaders. (Laughter) That’s what they forgot.
ROLAND MARTIN: He shoot anybody, Leon?
DEION SANDERS: He shoot anybody Leon has some dimes over the front?
ROLAND MARTIN: So should Texas draft him as number one?
DEION SANDERS: Man, they better, because he gonna fill the stadium.
ROLAND MARTIN: There you go.
TOM JOYNER: All right.
ROLAND MARTIN: Prime Time, Deion Sanders, Hall of Famer, thanks for joining us Prime Time on the Tom Joyner Morning Show
Deion Sanders: ‘Johnny [Manziel] Has Ghetto Tendencies’ was originally published on blackamericaweb.com