Leading up to Jackson State facing Alabama State for its homecoming game on Saturday, Tigers football coach Deion Sanders did not shy away from sharing his excitement to travel to Montgomery, Alabama to face the Hornets.
Sanders’s excitement to face Alabama State initially started two weeks ago after the Tigers dismantled Mississippi Valley before entering their bye week. On Monday, Sanders doubled down on his eagerness for his team to face the Hornets in a game that he described that he and JSU fans would get to enjoy the “fanfare,” “love” and culture of a HBCU homecoming.
After 60 minutes of action that included a 26–12 win for JSU, Hornets first-year head coach Eddie Robinson Jr was not happy with Sanders’s behavior all week and considered it “disrespectful.” When Sanders and Robinson met at midfield after the game, the two shook hands before Sanders tried to embrace Robinson with a hug. Instead of Robinson returning the favor in the embrace, he pushed away Sanders’s hand and walked away with an Alabama state trooper.
“We did not talk in the pregame,” Robinson said, per The Wildcard podcast. “I was out there the whole time at the 50-yard line. He walked through our whole huddle in our endzone. He came the long way around to get to his side of the field in pregame. I thought that was not classy at all. In the postgame, I’m not about to give you the [Barack] Obama bro hug. I’m gon’ shake your hand and go on. I’m going to always be respectful and respect the game.”
In expressing his thoughts, Robinson shared that his respect for the conference stems from the coaching legends who paved the way for him to have an opportunity, something he felt Sanders did not represent.
Robinson was a standout linebacker for Alabama State in the early 1990s before going on to play 11 years in the NFL with the Oilers, Jaguars, Titans and Bills.
“I’m living on the coaches in the SWAC,” Robinson said. “He ain’t SWAC. I’m SWAC. So, he’s in the conference doing a great job. I can’t knock that, got a great team. … But you not about to come here and disrespect me, and my team and my school and then want a bro hug. Shake my hand and get the hell on. Period. You got the W, great job. I hope he comes back next year. I pray he don’t get a Power 5 job so we can play them next year in Jackson and I pray they put us for they damn homecoming.”
Sanders, however, disagreed with Robinson’s SWAC stance, firmly stating that “if he is not SWAC, who is?” “Who is SWAC if I ain’t SWAC?” Sanders asked. “Who is SWAC, baby? Who is?”
Robinson was also visibly frustrated with Sanders because while JSU was on the brink of victory, the Tigers’ coach put in his backup quarterback in attempt to add more points with comfortable lead in the fourth quarter.
“We ain’t friends,” Robison said. “He ain’t never called me, I ain’t never called him. Great player … shit, everybody wanna be gah d— Prime Time when they was a little kid… Got tough respect for the guy but you cant do that stuff all week and then come back and put your backup quarterback and… try to put more points on the board. Disrespectful shits. …Take a damn knee.”
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