It might have been better for everyone if this would have happened a long time ago, but Deion Sanders says he’s cut ties with Dez Bryant.
Sanders’ relationship with the former Oklahoma State receiver led to the premature end of Bryant’s collegiate career. The NCAA suspended Bryant in September 2009 for the rest of that season for lying about having lunch with Sanders. On Friday, Sanders said on the Ben & Skin Show on ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas that it bothered him that he took blame for Bryant’s lie.
But Sanders, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2011 and current NFL Network analyst, aimed his harshest comments at Bryant’s recent conduct. The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver was issued a trespass warning last week at a Dallas mall after an off-duty police officer requested that Bryant and his friends pull up their pants because their underwear was showing. According to a police report, Bryant responded with repeated profanity.
Sanders’ reaction: “I’m upset but not surprised whatsoever.”
Here’s what else Deion had to say about Dez:
On the connection between the mall incident and Bryant’s difficult upbringing: “He needs help. He needs help. I told the Cowboys from Day One that he needs help. Matter of fact, they have a team in place to help him. But you cannot tell a grown man what to do.”
On taking blame for Bryant’s lie that prompted his NCAA suspension: “I don’t have a problem with you lying to me. That’s one thing. But when you lie to yourself as a man, you have a serious problem and that’s where this kid is. And I can’t condone it.”
On his decision last summer to sever his relationship with Bryant: “I haven’t spoken to the kid. I have no desire to speak to the kid. In regards to me, I can forgive, but I can’t forget. You can’t tarnish the other things that I have going on and the other kids. It’s sort of like I can’t allow something to poison the fruit of many other kids. I can’t do it, so I cut off those ties a long time ago.”
I’m not condoning Bryant’s recent behavior, but these comments, first reported by ESPN Dallas, clarify Deion’s motivation for his relationship with Dez. He was more interested in what Dez could do for him than what he could do for Dez.
If you’d like to listen, the podcast version of Deion’s segment should be posted here today.