Former professional football player and NFL analyst Deion Sanders is no stranger to television, but he did experience the personal nature of doing a reality series when he took questions at Thursday’s television press tour in Pasadena.
Journalists asked several questions of Sanders regarding exposing his children on the new series, “Deion’s Family Playbook.”
Early in the panel, Sanders wanted to make clear that he and his children — some of whom were on Sanders’ previous reality offering “Prime Time Love” on Oxygen — weren’t looking to elevate their fame with the new series.
“My kids are elated to be on TV,” he said. “But unlike other shows, we’re not using this to catapult ourselves. I’m happy with where I am.”
So, what will we learn about Sanders’ style of fatherhood? First and foremost, there’s his blended family of children. Of the eight joining his own three children are a 16-year-old niece, a two-year-old nephew and a 16-year-old Sanders calls Florida, because he saved her from the state’s social work system.
A co-founder and football coach of Prime Prep Academy, a charter school that targets children in underserved areas, Sanders adopted his idea of family and social responsibility from his mother.
“I’m mirroring my mother,” he said. “She welcomed everyone in and I saw that as a child.”
As far as fame is concerned, one journalist wondered what Sanders’ take on going pro is for children.
“My whole concern is not sports,” he said. “It’s education. I think education is the key that unlocks every door in life. There’s so many ways to be successful and that’s what we promote.”
Sanders suggests that those who play football or basketball should forego going pro after high school and instead go to college. “Those sports will be there later,” he said. “Go study and grow.”
Sanders and girlfriend, Tracey Edmonds, both executive produce “Deion’s Family Playbook,” which premieres on March 1 at 10/9c on OWN.