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Deion Sanders says Johnny Manziel has “ghetto tendencies”

Deion Sanders AP

Every year when quarterbacks go through the pre-draft process, quarterbacks get compared to other quarterbacks — usually ones they share an obvious physical trait with.

But according to Hall of Fame cornerback and NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has an quality that crosses such pre-conceived barriers.

During an interview with Roland Martin on the Tom Joyner Morning Show (full transcript here), Sanders said he was a fan of Manziel, but said the negative attention he received is based on personality and perhaps something else.

“I love Johnny Football,” Sanders said. “See, the reason people won’t accept Johnny Football is because Johnny Football has ghetto tendencies. I love Johnny Football.”

Asked to clarify what “ghetto tendencies” were, Sanders continued: “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.”

Martin then made a reference to Manziel being “a white Prime Time,” and Sanders laughed.

“Thank you. And I love him. I love him,” Sanders said.

There are many troubling elements to the discussion of the racial realities of quarterback profiling. But Sanders’ apparent equation of “ghetto” with “black,” is frankly insulting.

It was a clumsy attempt by Sanders, who could have chosen a better way to say he admired Manziel’s confidence, without bringing a racial element into the conversation.

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35 Responses to “Deion Sanders says Johnny Manziel has “ghetto tendencies””
  1. fdugrad says: Apr 3, 2014 10:28 AM

    Great CB, but wordsmith, not so much.

  2. psmith7716 says: Apr 3, 2014 10:51 AM

    Deion was a tremendous talent on the field. He has displayed nothing subsequent to his football career.

  3. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Apr 3, 2014 12:05 PM

    At least no one will remember what Mike Zimmer said about him now.

  4. catfish252 says: Apr 3, 2014 1:05 PM

    and no one would no more about being ghetto or racial than Sanders.

  5. dobe420 says: Apr 3, 2014 1:07 PM

    So you mean he’s going to take a drag of J even though he “quit yesterday”?

  6. mdf53 says: Apr 3, 2014 1:07 PM

    Deon is just being Deon in his own never ending saga to be relevant. He very well knows that associating a rich white boy with the term ghetto is not an acceptable reference to describing courageous and flamboyant.

    It does however have the necessary shock value that a black person using the N-word as a term of endearment instead of the offensive word that it is.

    Deon needs to keep his celebrity status relevant as prime time after football or prime time II.

    The old fox still has the touch with words, but he needs somebody current to ride.

    Johnny Manziel is all of that with flamboyant ability who obviously took a page out of Don’t book along with Joe Namath and a few others that operated constantly outside of the box.

    The psychological employment of the right words at the right time entices competitive egoes to feed off each other and stir the financial pool into billions instead of mere millions if anyone can speak of millions in mere terms.

    Deon is looking to add value to himself as usual just as he extended his career through several teams even when he was no longer capable of being the same, 75% of Deon was better than 90% of the rest of the players in the same position.

    Ghetto is not a black thing, but the media focus has always associated it in that manner. Ghetto is about poverty and their are other ethnic groups that have ghettos including white ghettos. They are not usually talked about because not many if any other groups that come out of them want it to be known that they were poor.

    The old fox has stirred the pot and is looking for the response that will give him another day to avoid the grinding ax that has taken down some of his other colleagues that no longer have media presence to earn top dollar.

    Deon won’t be denied and will not go out with his arms down or folded. He’s going out swinging on his own terms if he has anything to say or do about it.

    This is the process that even degreed psychologists can’t master because they lack the appeal and flamboyance.

    I might not like him, but Deon is still Deon and somebody is still interested in what he has to say and keeps him relevant.

  7. 700levelvet says: Apr 3, 2014 1:30 PM

    Once an idiot … Always an idiot …

  8. dragonfly99 says: Apr 3, 2014 1:34 PM

    If a white player made a comment such as this, he would be labelled a racist for the rest of his career and the media would never let it go.

  9. ftomasic1961 says: Apr 3, 2014 1:40 PM

    overrated player to begin with, lotza flash, avoided contact like girl, couldnt run support if his life depended on it, bad tackler….cherry picked, etc…

    sorry, im a mel blount fan when it comes to cornerbacks…they changed the rules because of blount….no ‘Sanders’ rule coming out….

  10. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 3, 2014 1:40 PM

    Maniel’s parents are millionaires.

  11. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Apr 3, 2014 1:41 PM

    So I guess I must be missing something pretty major here because I don’t see where Sanders said anything even remotely racial. I see the quote where he talked about Manziel having ghetto tendencies but the last time I checked people of all races lived in the ghetto so I don’t follow how he could possibly be equating ghetto with black.
    If anyone brought a racial element into the conversation it was Martin with his white Prime Time comment.

  12. benne8686 says: Apr 3, 2014 1:43 PM

    He said ghetto, I don’t see at any point where Deion made ghetto about a race. The interviewer threw out white Deion and he went along with it. When he had to describe what a ghetto player was he just described it as being flamboyant and having swagger.

  13. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 3, 2014 1:47 PM

    It won’t be an issue unless Manziel starts flashing signs to the kids he grew up with in that wealthy gated community.

  14. jdphx says: Apr 3, 2014 1:47 PM

    I took his comment, as being “ghetto” in
    a sort of Eminem, Vanilla Ice kinda way.
    Nothing derogatory…

  15. lions4ever says: Apr 3, 2014 1:51 PM

    Now what if a non African American analyst said that about a Africa American player…

  16. billybmore says: Apr 3, 2014 2:00 PM

    Where’s Richard Sherman when you need him?

  17. jerryjonessaidwhat says: Apr 3, 2014 2:01 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I get his meaning as saying the white boy plays like a black man..

    Either way I’m not sure other than Deion having’ to put his stamp on yet another topic to keep himself in the spotlight

  18. vonridel says: Apr 3, 2014 2:01 PM

    Blacks don’t own the term “ghetto”. That term was around well before blacks could be related to slum neighborhoods. So quit getting you knickers in a wad.

  19. ilovefoolsball says: Apr 3, 2014 2:43 PM

    Then he denies he said it on twitter.

    How do you deny you said something that has been recorded and broadcast to a national audience???

  20. tic1042014 says: Apr 3, 2014 2:56 PM

    Although I believe Deion to be a racist, I don’t think he meant anything bad by his statement. In his own demented way he actually was trying to complement Manziel. He’s (Deion) an idiot, but so is the guy who talked about Deion not being a good CB. He covered so well that he didn’t have to tackle and hit allot :) .

  21. ncarolinarn7 says: Apr 3, 2014 2:59 PM

    People need to stop being afraid of our differences. We do have them. We also have our same-ness. Stop being so “PC”. We all see our color. Who cares. It is who we are inside anyway.

  22. bigdeuceuno says: Apr 3, 2014 3:54 PM

    prime is a 100% right ! Johnny football has a Black football stars swagger about him he hangs with rappers listens to rap music and oh yeah he likes money all red flags by white America if he was wearing cowboy hats he would b the 1st round pick hands down no questions asked ! man give me a break so what he has a lot of black friends and likes black music if u will I’m sure he has a lot of white friends and listens to country music as well look the dude can flat out ball look at Russell Wilson and he won a SB last yr they have almost the same game but Wilson is much more of a humble quite person and people still don’t give him his do u got to think outside the box now people its new times where there is no color the young white kids now love n embrace black people and our culture and its vise versa bottom line is Johnny football can ball and he’s going to break down a lot of walls some people have put up !

  23. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Apr 3, 2014 3:58 PM

    A black man saying a white guy has “ghetto tendencies”. WOW have things changed.

  24. kleppnasty says: Apr 3, 2014 4:32 PM

    um, when did Deion bring in race? I read the transcript, he never says “black” or “white” anywhere. He says “ghetto”, which last I checked, is not a race.

  25. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 3, 2014 4:35 PM

    Manziel might be construed as being “ghetto” if you’re from Norway. Or a fan of Drake.

  26. mrtreyseven says: Apr 3, 2014 4:41 PM

    How is this racists, when all the standards and qualifications of being a good QB are based off of former White players. When a black QB comes out he is always compared to a Montana, Aikeman, Farve, Manning, or Elway. never has anyone been black nor white compared to Moon, Williams, Cunningham, or McNabb. So when a guy acts outside of such, more importantly if a kid of his stature acts whats considered “Beneath” him. All the while you go and recruit the “Ghetto” for players that can help produce a winning program. Just as many things in this country its all Contradictory

  27. everyonesuksbutme says: Apr 3, 2014 4:59 PM

    Neon Flanders shut it!

  28. bobnelsonjr says: Apr 3, 2014 5:41 PM

    With an endorsement like that “having ghetto tendencies,” it is sure to drop the public’s perception of where he will be drafted.

    Yet it only takes one foolish GM to draft him late in the 1st round (in Tebow fashion).

  29. prayforwar2000 says: Apr 3, 2014 6:39 PM

    He made when he was born, his parents are freaking rich. Johnny Football is good at football but he sucks at life. No owner wants a QB that acts like an ass leading their team.

  30. jobber33 says: Apr 3, 2014 7:52 PM

    Johnny ” Johnny Football” Manziel and Joey “Joey Heisman” Harrington. Give them a nickname and they fall apart. Same hype crap, they can make plays others can’t. Johnny Football = 1st round bust

  31. sportsfan18 says: Apr 3, 2014 8:37 PM

    Neon Deion agrees with Richard Sherman evidently…

  32. raiderapologist says: Apr 3, 2014 8:45 PM

    Come on. He didn’t go Michael Irvin on the kid. He just needs to shave that stupid beard.

  33. jamwill1961 says: Apr 3, 2014 8:57 PM

    Deion is Deion !! And he said nothing wrong ! It’s the media and the ones that like to stir the pot that blow it all up ! And I even laugh when you try to compare a want to be with a hall of famer ! Yes you can compare Blount if you want to ! But people that watched football know what Deion was ! The greatest corner back of all time ! And quaterbacks that thru his way will tell u that !! Lol

  34. mmsolis1106 says: Apr 4, 2014 6:48 AM

    Deion obviously needs publicity for that reality show on OWN(Oprah Winfrey Network)…

  35. blackman2 says: Apr 4, 2014 1:10 PM

    Deion Sanders… :-(

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