I am so excited about this year’s Person of the Year. A good friend who is not a football fan questioned the choice. She said she didn’t like football.
So what, I told her. I’ve been taking a knee for years!
Also, I am from Jersey, so give me baseball or basketball any day!
Now, while this year’s choice wasn’t because he was a football player, we can’t deny his legacy. Yes, he is Black history; someone who has done so much for football and baseball, and today he is doing so much for college football and HBCUs overall.
This year’s Person of the Year is Deion Sanders, who is better known as, “Coach Prime.”
As the coach of Jackson State University’s football team, he is elevating all HBCUs because he’s addressing systemic issues that have led to the disenfranchisement of HBCUs and the people who choose to attend.
Sure he’s constantly trending and people are speculating about his motives, but I am looking at the heightened awareness, the challenging of the status quo, the pride on the faces of proud alumni and supporters, the increased enrollment at HBCUs and more.
HBCU presidents are praising Coach Prime, and rightfully so. In conversations with several presidents, I have yet to hear a negative comment. Those presidents realize that a win for one of us is a win for all of us. They also know that not only athletes are looking at JSU and other HBCUs. Students of all disciplines are recognizing that the ice is the same.
More and more students are opening their eyes, ears and yes, hearts, to HBCUs. And more corporations are realizing the benefit of investing in these schools and the students.
Which brings me to my truth.
It’s like the 9th Wonder of the World has been unveiled and the energy is exciting.
It’s great to see and hear Mr. Sanders talking about the benefits of HBCUs. Yeah, he’s saying what so many of us already know and I hope he doesn’t let up.
The beauty in it all is that he is fearless. He realizes that faith and fear cannot occupy the same space. He also realizes his value and uses it for the benefit of others.
Coach Prime is following in the rich tradition of coaching greats like A.S. Jake Gaither and Eddie Robinson. He’s building character in those around him through life lessons and hard truths.
Just watch him in action. He knows that to whom much is given, much is required; and he also knows that if you raise the bar, offer challenges and build a foundation on faith, you’re on the way to success.
Coach Prime is lifting as he climbs and for this, and so many other reasons, he is our Person of the Year.