Deion Sanders Leaves Interview After Reporter Calls Him by First Name Twice: 'Don't Do That'

Now the head coach of the Jackson State football team, Deion Sanders prefers to be called "Coach"

Deion Sanders
Deion Sanders. Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty

While former NFL and MLB player Deion Sanders may have gone by his nickname, "Prime Time," during his playing days, he prefers to be called "Coach" today — and make no mistake about it.

According to ESPN, Sanders — the head coach of the Jackson State football team — corrected a reporter who referred to him by his first name during a media event on Tuesday ahead of the new season.

"You don't call [Alabama's] Nick Saban, 'Nick.' Don't call me Deion," Sanders, 53, told the reporter from the Clarion-Ledger.

"If you call Nick [Saban], Nick, you'll get cussed out on the spot," he continued, "so don't do that to me. Treat me like Nick."

Sanders, who led Jackson State to a 4-3 record last year, then walked out of the event after being referred to his first name for a second time, the Clarion-Ledger reported. Sanders later posted footage of the moment to his Twitter account, which showed him walking away from the camera following his interaction with reporter Nick Suss.

In a follow-up tweet, Sanders said he had a "great time" at the event and claimed he "never left" the conference.

"Respect is something that u must demand & stand for," Sanders wrote in a message on Wednesday morning. "Give respect & honor those that should be respected & if u don't respect them don't allow your feelings to escalate the situation into something else unhealthy."

"Learn to walk away & see another day your way," he continued, in part.

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In a response to the Clarion-Ledger, Suss said he typically refers to the people he interviews by their first name, including Alabama's Saban.

"When I interview people, I call them by their first name," he told the outlet. "Whether it's someone I've been working with for years or someone I'm talking to for the first time."

"This is true of the coaches and players on the Ole Miss beat, the coaches and players at Mississippi State and Southern Miss when I help out covering their teams," he added, "and as recently as January, even Sanders, too."

Jackson State's first game of the season is on Sept. 5 against Florida A&M.

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