Deion Sanders calls out those who opt out

Getty Images

Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio recently decided not to share his views about players opting out. Former Washington (and Atlanta and Dallas and San Francisco and Baltimore) cornerback Deion Sanders has decided to go the other way.

“All Players OPTING out in all sports PLEASE BELIEVE the game will go on without u,” Sanders said on Twitter. “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.”

With the opt-out window closed for the NFL and with Deion probably not particularly concerned about opt outs in other sports, his message unmistakably is intended for college football players. Perhaps specifically those at Florida State, the college he attended and openly aspires to return to as head coach. Given his desire to be a college football head coach (he has guaranteed he’ll have a head coaching job in 2021), it’s no surprise that he shares the viewpoints and attitudes of the men who are bracing to see how many of their players say sayonara to college football for 2020.

It’s already started, and it surely will continue. Even with Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence staying put (for now), other top-end prospects have decided — for business reasons — to not assume the extra risks inherent to spending another season at a level of the sport at which they aren’t paid in order to better secure their futures at a level of the sport at which they will be.

That said, Deion is technically right. The game will go on without the players who are opting out. The game goes on without every player. No one is so great — including Deion — that they disband the sport once the player leaves. But if a player chooses to play in a season of college football that could be destined to implode, that could contribute to the rampant spread of COVID-19 in his team and community, and/or that could result in injuries that compromise his future prospects (especially if enough starters are positive for the virus and second-, third-, and/or fourth-stringers who can’t hold their own are lined up next to him), his ability to best position himself for a career in the NFL could be significantly undermined.

“This is a business and don’t u EVER forget that,” Deion crows. Yes, Deion. College football is a business. It’s a business that wants to make as much money as possible. And it makes as much money as possible by attracting and holding the best possible talent in place, paying them nothing, and sitting back and letting the cash register ring. Deion is now serving those who get rich from the skills, abilities, and sacrifices of those players, by providing a surrogate voice to persuade them to stick around, despite the enhanced risks to their futures.

Isn’t it strange Deion didn’t say what he said before Thursday’s NFL opt-out deadline? That probably would have created an issue between him and his employer, the NFL, which tried to balance supporting player opt-out rights with staring at the clock at it ticked toward Thursday at four and hoping/praying that the best players (like quarterbacks) would make their decisions to play without full information that could sway them not to play.

Then there’s the last message from Deion, a point so idiotic that the entirety of his tweet should be ignored: “Only the ref, umps & officials are that important that u can’t play without them. NOT YOU!”

Um, Deion? The ref, the umps, and the officials leave the sport all the time. And they get replaced all the time. For the NFL, 2020 opt-out procedures for the officials have yet to be finalized. When they are, the officials will have a chance to opt out. If/when (when) some do, they’ll be replaced, just like the players.

The sad part of this is that so many young players treat Deion Sanders like some sort of Pied Piper. Given his admitted personal objectives and the present national circumstances, that’s precisely the role he’s playing.

89 responses to “Deion Sanders calls out those who opt out

  1. He’s just as obnoxious as ever. Cool it Deion, and stop constantly reaching for the spotlight.

  2. He is not able to understand a player making any decision that isn’t based solely on money

  3. Incredibly tone deaf here by Deion. No one thinks that they’re bigger than the game by opting out. What is he even talking about?

  4. “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open ones mouth and remove all doubt” ­­- Mark Twain

  5. for those who opted out, it will absolutely be held against them in the future. the nature of the business.

  6. Would he put his life on the line! I’ve known people who have died from the virus!! Would he be will to put his life out there??Shut up ignoramus!!

  7. WHEN has writing words that aren’t acronyms in ALL CAPS in posts and tweets EVER enhanced the EFFICACY or READABILITY of said POSTS or TWEETS?

    I personally have never seen it happen. All caps are ALMOST as bad as “unnecessary quotation marks”

  8. Deion, you’re closing the gap between yourself and Antonio Brown. Saying stuff just to get your name in the paper. The players who opt out aren’t thinking about the game. They’re thinking about doing their part in stopping the spread of this virus that’s killing American’s every day. These players are American citizens first. Football players second. But also, players are young and strong, and probably will recover quickly from the virus. However, a lot of the players are husbands and fathers too, and there are unknown long-term affects to deal with, and guys don’t want to start having organ failure when they reach their 40’s and 50’s. This Trump Virus is a nasty virus.

  9. Remember that time Deion Sanders, an NFL analyst, didn’t know Kevin Byard, a Pro Bowl safety? Deion is a Clown of the highest order. If he gets a head coaching gig in 2021 he’ll be available again for bad takes in 2022.

  10. Back in Deion’s day if someone got Corona they would just rub dirt on it and keep playing.

  11. The families of players who catch covid and die won’t be able to go on without them. #Believe

  12. He wasn’t aiming his words at mainly college football players. You added that.

    And everything isn’t just about money as it is to you. You are the worst thing that ever happened to football. A little whiney dweeb trying to make a fortune off gossip.

  13. Sanders opted out a long time ago when we wouldn’t tackle. Looks like covid is starting to get to him.

  14. To say the college player is not “paid” is technically correct but inaccurate based upon free tuition, room and board, meals, tutors, training rooms, books, etc. And this year the higher round projected player has the excuse, COVID, well that is a cop out excuse. The excuse should read first I don’t know if they’ll even be a season, next is a major injury may wipe out my earning potential, then, if applicable, any COVID related health concerns. I’m sure that these young men in the age group they are have not 100% been social “distancing”, wearing masks, when they do go out, and or have most likely been to parties or even protests wear masks and distancing were not practiced. Convenient excuse for them to opt out this year. But it is an excuse and I don’t believe COVID is close to being the number one priority for ALL, maybe a couple of them, but not all.

  15. Are we really surprised that Sanders said something this ridiculous . Sanders is like so many from his era , still not able to deal with the fact their careers are over so he begs for attention anyway he can get it .

  16. Minus those with serious health issues (Solder, Cannon, Damien Williams’ mom I believe) should even consider opting out. You can’t fault those guys.

    But to guys who are just opting out due to fear of a virus that has had almost no impact to their age group in comparison to the elderly, it really seems excessive. I agree with Deion somewhat.

  17. bostonblows says:
    August 8, 2020 at 10:41 am
    What a horrible human being this guy is.

    It’s a GAME.
    It’s a business, a fortune 200 business

  18. Sanders is irrelevant to most yet his voice is heard by some percentage of young athletes who look up to him. The man has charisma but lacks intelligence and the ability to be thoughtful. But he is not qualified to give advice on this subject, only opinion. The advice should come from qualified health care professionals in concert with family, IMHO.

  19. There’s truth in saying the league is greater than the individual players. Yes, years from now the league will be there long after these particular players are gone. That doesn’t mean the league will happen this year without the players though.

    You know what’s greater than the league? Yup, SARS2. The virus has no respect for the league or Dion’s opinions. In that last regard the virus and I are alike

  20. Great player when he played football…loudmouth obnoxious clown in real life.

  21. August 8, 2020 at 11:04 am
    beestmode says:
    The families of players who catch covid and die won’t be able to go on without them

    Don’t most college players live at college away from their families?

  22. Deion trying to teach kids something important, florio trying to teach deion something important. Unfortunately these are football players they came to play not learn.

  23. “Deion opted out of tackling and the game went on. It will survive this too.”

    This was posted and it was my exact first thought after reading Mr. Sanders’ opinion. My thumbs-up was registered above to this highly appropriate comment.

  24. I’ve said this before here. Deion the player was amazing. Deion the human being; not so much

  25. “guys don’t want to start having organ failure when they reach their 40’s and 50’s”

    Cut the fear mongering garbage. Long term effects of COVID 19 will be subject to study for many months and years still.

  26. Sanders may be the worst person on TV. He doesn’t care about the game of football, only uses it as a platform to remind people how great he once was. Scratch that, only Michael Irvin is worse only because I can’t understand half the things he says because he is blowing out my speakers laughing at his own jokes.

  27. I am about sick of people trying to judge those who opt out. Nobody knows why they are choosing to and everyone has to do what is in the best interest of themselves and their families. Some just need to keep their mouth shut.

  28. Hey Peon, These players only have one life, understand that. Also understand that doctors and scientists do not know what the long term damage as well. This isn’t a “Prime Time” TV show. You’re talking about people’s lives and careers. Get off your soap box bruh.

  29. I didn’t here anyone opting out saying the game could not go on without them. I just heard them give various reasons why they were more comfortable with the safety of self and family if they stayed away.

  30. Maybe after enough of this junk the NFL Network will give us watchable postgame programming instead of 8 hours of Deion skyping with players.

  31. You need to handle your business and let them handle theirs. There are a lot more important things than football and family and health fit into that category.

  32. One thing will never change with Dion-great player on the field-jerk off the field. Every time he opens his mouth one more college coaching job slips away. Yes, the game is bigger than the players, it did not miss a beat when a self-centered, over-hyped nitwit like you left.

  33. “a point so idiotic that the entirety of his tweet should be ignored”


    I’m not sure how one you determined what was the most idiotic statement in his whole pointless rant, but overall I agree that his opinion on this -not to mention his need to share this opinion- is pretty dumb.

  34. Just as the game will go on without the players life will go on without sports for 2020. No big deal, I think we’ve all realized that it’s just a game and really not all that essential to our daily lives.

  35. Sanders will not be a head coach in 2021. Not an assistant coach either. Not a position coach. Not a QC coach.

  36. Bigger than the game?

    You kidding me Dieon? I distinctly recall your not-so-discreet NFL intro. Infact, it set a tone for all “bigger-than-the-game” minded players.

    For you, sidelines were about image, and jolting around with Hammer like a high-voltage rap video.

    Truly ironic where these opinions derive from.

  37. You’re so wrong, Neon Deon. I always turn the channel when I see you on TV, which might not be much longer.

  38. Dion was a great cornerback, no doubt. But his expertise ends there. He really needs to just shut up.

  39. I respect a person willing to speak their mind even when it means going against popular opinion. Many think he’s wrong but the fact still remains that it is a business and there are many people lined up gleefully ready to fill in the vacancies left behind by those opting out. The world does not stop turning for one human being. Life goes on. Now where are thumbs down at?

  40. The problem of sport as a business:

    “Every time I call it a game you call it a business. And every time I call it a business you call it a game.”
    John Matuszak
    North Dallas 40

  41. It’s hard to tackle that subject for Sanders. He has a really hard time tackling

  42. He should just mind his own business. Which is not playing football. Hasn’t been for a looooooooong time. You tackles get off my lawn!!!

  43. I’m still amazed at the arrogance and audacity he had to make a documentary video of his mansion in Dallas. He had a walk in closet the size of my garage. And he made a big point to show and tell his viewing audience that he had a custom made Italian suit for every day of the year. Ego diva.

  44. Deon knows basic science – a disease with 3k deaths under 40yrs old isn’t Armageddon. Look at the state covid websites – its not hidden.

  45. Classic Deion. A bad take fueled by his not understanding what is actually going on. Kind of crazy that he was a Hall of Fame player because he frequently doesn’t know the current players he is supposed to be commentating on and often seems like he just stumbled upon pro football a couple weeks back and is still figuring things out.

  46. cjpom664 says:
    August 8, 2020 at 10:36 am
    Incredibly tone deaf here by Deion. No one thinks that they’re bigger than the game by opting out. What is he even talking about?


    Exactly. He’s acting like players are opting out because of arrogance or something. His input into this matter was unneeded and makes no sense.

  47. Average NFL career= 4 years. Pandemic expected to last past the Q1 2021… opting out affects 25% of the career earnings of some, even higher for others. Life &death is trumping money. He should be proud of these young men, not a condescending, tone deaf, blow-hard, shameful.

  48. davebarnes21 says:
    August 9, 2020 at 7:36 am
    Deion is the BEST. Finally someone speaking like a man.
    Surprised someone would write this about Leon Sandcastle.
    really Dude? Are you like his brother-in-law or something?
    Advice: Dude, have some dignity, just make your own damn car payments…

  49. Well, looks like Deion is getting a head start making his new bosses at Barstool happy.

  50. i was going to say shut up deion but i see that hundreds of people have already said that. but honestly unless he is just a puppet why would a big time college hire him as the head coach. unless he is just a puppet…

  51. stevew5 says:
    August 8, 2020 at 3:53 pm
    You’re so wrong, Neon Deon. I always turn the channel when I see you on TV, which might not be much longer.

    I do the very same thing. On late Sunday night sports casts, I always find another channel when loudmouth Deion comes on with his 21st and Prime stupidity. I can’t believe that a reputable sports program with go along with his dumb fanatics

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.