Skip Bayless covered Deion Sanders while he was with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990s, and on Monday came out on the side of the star cornerback he once chronicled, calling out Colorado State coach Jay Norvell and Oregon coach Dan Lanning for the “deep-rooted and seeded” way in which both coaches talked about Sanders while facing him.
“I’ve tried to tell you guys for two weeks there is a deep-rooted, venomous vengeance that is starting to manifest itself against Deion among white coaches,” Bayless said, “and I’m not gonna say they’re all white because we saw what Jay Norvell did just two weeks ago. It’s deep-rooted and seeded because Deion didn’t pay any dues that they all had to pay.”
Bayless indicated that other college football coaches likely feel threatened or uncomfortable by how Sanders operates. On top of bringing a new-school approach to recruiting and NIL, Sanders has brought his sons along with him and has been vocal and confident every step of the way.
“He has shattered the mold that we have talked and talked about because that’s who he is,” Bayless continued. “He is one of the greatest talkers in the history of sports. He is as entertaining an interview as there is in all of sports as we speak. He is playing to his strengths. He is in the midst of the greatest turnaround in college football history doing it his way. Not Dan Lanning’s way.”
This week, Lanning went viral after ABC cameras caught him saying the Ducks play “for wins” while the Buffaloes play “for clicks.” The comments were widely panned as racial considering Colorado went 3-0 to start the season.
Atop that, media coverage is constant. But it’s nothing new for Sanders. He has faced scrutiny dating all the way back to his time at Florida State in the 1980s.
When Bayless pointed out on Undisputed that this animosity continues today, Sanders’ former Dallas teammate Michael Irvin backed him up.
As for Bayless, his perspective can be hard to pinpoint considering that he cares most about making the loudest TV. Many accuse Bayless of playing up race at times, especially considering his shows have largely featured him squaring off against a Black man. During the racial protests of 2020 after George Floyd’s murder, Bayless spoke about being raised by a Black woman caregiver in Oklahoma who descended from slaves.
It may not be the person most would expect to point out racism in the coverage of Sanders, but it’s nearly impossible to argue Bayless is wrong. Cue the “worst person you know” memes.