Deion Sanders is back for another reality TV run. The man formerly known as “Prime Time” seems determined to extend his fame far past his years when he was one of the NFL’s top players. His new show Deion’s Family Playbook shows another side of the flamboyant star, who is now a football commentator and full-time father. He divorced his second wife, Pilar, and has custody of their kids.
“I’m happy and my baby’s (Tracy Edmonds) is happy because she produced this thing so she has the task to make me look good. I call her Tracy Mack, like Tosha Mack on the game. I have a hundred kids in this house. That’s what the show is about. Y’all know I wanted custody because y’all had so much fun during the whole drama. You forgot I got a radio and you guys are all over the country.
I have custody, but I have another four. My 16-year-old niece, two foster twins that my mother raised Heaven and Neveah, then I got my little nephew T.J. So I have eight in my house, and my daughter comes back and forth from Atlanta and my son is at SMU. Then I got Prime Prep and slong with The Truth, that’s my youth organization so that’s about a thousand kids. So we got to keep a lot of food in the house.”
Sanders is not just promoting his reality show, he’s promoting tolerance in the NFL, which has just been faced with the prospect of drafting an openly gay player, Missouri’s Michael Sam. Recently, on The Arsenio Hall Show, Sanders says gay players are nothing new to the NFL and that in fact, there was always at least one on every team when he played.
“It has been, we just was cool as family members. My cousin JuneBug was gay. He’s been gay all my life. He was not only gay, he was on drugs, so most people have people in their family who are gay or on drugs, I had both in one. Football is a reflection of society. We have alcoholics, we have drug addicts, we have everything. We have people that abuse. We have everything.
We just showered them with love. We didn’t put him out there on the street, because he was there for football. We didn’t care what his lifestyle was. I was walking in the Galleria Mall here in Dallas, and one of the guys that we suspected to be gay was in the mall with one of his partners. He didn’t seem me coming toward him and as we made eye contact he tried to veer off. I was like “Nooo, no. Come on back. I just wanted them to know, Man we cool. I don’t condemn, neither do I condone, but be you.”
As for the ‘N’ word fine, Sanders says it’s too much to legislate in the NFL.
“I just gave my kids $5 for that fine this morning,” he says.
“So I do understand. But when you start putting a label on something what about the other words? There’s the “d” word, the “h” word, there’s all kind of words that are used on the field. I don’t know how you separate the entities. That’s tough just to single out the “N” word. That “b” word is out there. You gonna tell me that’s worse than the “N” word I like the thought process. But I don’t know how it’s gonna pan out. That’s like saying NBA players can’t smoke weed. Who’s gonna play?”
As for the fortunes of his old team, the Dallas Cowboys, Sanders has just this to say: “We ain’t got that kind of time on the radio.”
Deion’s Family Playbook debuts on OWN on Saturday, March 1 at 10 p.m.