Sunday, August 14, 2022

Deion Sanders Issues ‘Long Overdue’ Apology to Hometown Fort Myers

NFL: FEB 03 Super Bowl LII - NFL Honors
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – FEBRUARY 03: Deion Sanders poses for photographs on the Red Carpet at NFL Honors during Super Bowl LII week on February 3, 2018, at Northrop at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

*Deion Sanders received the key to the city in Fort Myers, Florida, on Saturday, and he used the moment to reconcile with his hometown.

The NFL Hall of Fame cornerback received the honor during a community forum Saturday night at Fort Myers High School. The event was attended by about 150 people, prompting Sanders to issue a heartfelt speech, per USA Today.

“This is long overdue. This is like a reconciliation for me. The reason it hurt so bad was because I don’t give a damn what they say about me in Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, New York. I don’t care because it was my job. … When you talk about me, some things I let slide, but you are all family. You only get one shot at calling the place home,” said Sanders.

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David Dorsey of the Fort Myers News-Press noted the reasons for the rocky relationship between the two-time Super Bowl winner/World Series player and the city of Fort Myers. Local police arrested the NFL icon twice—the first in 1988 while he was playing for Florida State, and the second in 1996, per The Bleacher Report.

“Those incidents, among others, have soured Sanders on his hometown,” Dorsey wrote.

But the friction was curbed on Saturday.

“You are indeed a hometown hero,” Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson said to Sanders.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Sanders said. “God was saying reconciliation. This has been reconciliation and a spirit of peace since I got here.”

“I apologize to you as well. You have no idea what you all did to me this particular weekend. The best is yet to come,” he added.

On Sunday, Sanders reportedly hosted his Prime Elite Underclassmen Camp for local athletes at Bishop Verot High School.

Fort Myers Councilwoman Terolyn Watson is hoping the city and Sanders can work together and facilitate the changes the city so desperately needs.

“I think Deion’s main message tonight is the choices you make in life can make a difference,” Watson said. “He’s one of our most successful people. He has a great story. He’s a great role model.”


Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.




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