Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is determined to increase the recognition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities — HBCUs — through his role as head coach of Jackson State’s football team.
After the Tigers’ first game of the season — a 7-6 victory over Florida A&M in Sunday’s Orange Blossom Classic — the NFL legend identified one way to do so within his team’s own Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC): adding players’ names to the backs of their jerseys.
“That’s the kind of stuff we take for granted,” Sanders said, per The Mississippi Clarion Ledger. “I don’t. I’m very detailed. That guy worked his butt off, did what he had to do, changed his whole composite of his thought process. We could at least put his darn name on the back of his jersey.”
It’s a small change that could have a massive impact for the athletes, who are eligible to cash in on name, image, and likeness as of this season. Increasing individual players’ recognizability on the field by adding their name to their uniform is a fairly straightforward way to increase their marketability.
Plus, as Sanders noted after the game, players’ friends and loved ones would almost certainly be in favor of the change.
“Don’t you think his mom and them want to see the baby name on the back of the jerseys?” Sanders said. “Don’t you think his siblings, his friends, his family, his loved ones?”
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Insider, Meredith Cash