Deion Sanders has been called many things in his life. Neon Deion. Prime Time. All-Pro. Hall of Famer. Head coach. But today he got mad at being called by his first name.
Sanders, the football coach at Jackson State, walked out of a press conference today because reporter Nick Suss of the Mississippi Clarion Ledger addressed him as “Deion.”
“You don’t call Nick Saban, ‘Nick.’ Don’t call me Deion,” Sanders told Suss. “If you call Nick [Saban], Nick, you’ll get cussed out on the spot, so don’t do that to me. Treat me like Nick.”
But that claim from Sanders is false. Reporters routinely address Saban as “Nick” and they don’t get cussed out for it. Here’s a video of Saban’s pre-Rose Bowl press conference last season. Several reporters address him as “Nick,” and one reporter begins a question with, “Hi, Saban.” Saban didn’t cuss anyone out or seem to care at all how he’s addressed.
Suss said after the incident that he routinely addresses the people he’s interviewing by their first names and wasn’t treating Sanders any differently than he treats any other coach.
This isn’t a case of a reporter showing Sanders disrespect, it’s a case of Sanders displaying self-importance and thin skin.