NFL Hall of Famer and Jackson State Head Coach Deion Sanders is angry that not one draft-eligible HBCU football player, including his own, was selected in the NFL Draft.
The NFL Draft took place last Thursday through Saturday and 259 players were taken to join one of the league’s 32 teams as rookies. However, none of the players drafted played at an HBCU school. Sanders, who took the Jackson State position in part to bring exposure to HBCU football was not happy about that.
In an Instagram post on Monday, Sanders expressed his frustrations at the league and its teams.
“And we have the Audacity to Hate on one another while our kids are being NEGLECTED & REJECTED,” Sanders wrote in the caption. “I witnessed a multitude of kids that we played against that were more than qualified to be drafted. My prayers are that This won’t EVER happen again. Get yo knife out my back and fight with me not against me!”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s NFL Combine was canceled. The Combine is a week-long invitational where draft-eligible college football players perform physical and mental tests in front of NFL coaches, general managers, and scouts. HBCU schools were slated to host their own combine before the NFL’s showcase, but like the traditional combine, it was canceled due to the pandemic.
The pandemic also upended the traditional fall college football season. Schools across the country spent the fall season canceling games, shortening seasons, or postponing their fall seasons until this spring which is what Sanders’ team did.
Although no players were drafted, three men, Grambling’s David Moore; Florida A&M’s Calvin Ashley; and North Carolina A&T’s Mac McCain were signed to free-agent contracts after the draft.
Hall of Fame quarterback Doug Williams, who attended Grambling and became the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl in 1987 shared Sanders sentiments.
“It’s hard to believe that not one guy is worth being drafted,” Washington Football Team senior adviser Doug Williams told The Washington Post
Notable HBCU Football players include Williams, Former Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders Head Coach Art Shell (Maryland Eastern Shore) Former Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair, and former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan.