The Pro Football Hall of Famer and Jackson State football coach shared his disgust on social media after NFL teams passed over HBCU players in last week’s draft.
“We have the Audacity to Hate on one another while our kids are being NEGLECTED & REJECTED,” Sanders wrote on Instagram. “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!”
Sanders recently wrapped up his first season at the helm with the Tigers (4-3, 3-2 SWAC). Four of Jackson State’s games were on ESPN or ESPN2, and Sanders said the nationally broadcast games weren’t only won for his players, but players from opposing teams in the SWAC as well.
He added that exposure from national TV makes scouts aware of certain athletes who might have been previously overlooked.
When Jackson State announced Sanders as its 21st football coach in September, the former two-sport pro athlete said he wanted to level the playing field for HBCUs.
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An HBCU combine with NFL, CFL and XFL scouts was held April 9 at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but Sanders said he wanted to see HBCU players competing alongside those from other schools.
“We should be right there,” Sanders said. “We shouldn’t have a separate combine. That doesn’t make sense to have a separate combine. I was just trying to get us in, but now that I’m involved, and I’m in it, we don’t want separate. We want together.”
Jackson State opens the fall season Sept. 5 in Miami against SWAC-newcomer Florida A&M.