Deion Sanders Criticizes Players For Not Joining Altercation: ‘If One Fights, We All Fight’
University of Colorado head coach Deion Sanders delivered a tirade after a few of his players failed to join their teammate in an on-field altercation. The dispute between teammates occurred when safety Jaden Milliner-Jones pulled running back Anthony Hankerson to the ground after a touchdown.
Offensive lineman Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan, far larger than both men, took issue with Milliner-Jones and the two eventually started a skirmish involving multiple teammates and assistant coaches. Others tried to avoid further conflict, drawing Sanders’ attention.
“I seen two of you walking off, over there, and you’ve got a key teammate fighting,” Sanders said. “Where they do that at? Where they do that at?”
After his players responded it shouldn’t happen on their team, Sanders continued.
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“If one fights, we all fight,” Sanders yelled at his players. “You understand that? I don’t want to see you all walking off when somebody’s fighting. Never again!”
Sanders’ reaction to the intersquad dispute is far removed from prevailing sentiments among many coaches, who typically advise players to keep the peace, especially with teammates. As an outspoken player in his day, it is likely that his leadership style is informed by his own background on the field.
“We’re not here to compete but to win,” Sanders said at his introductory press conference in December. “Not to show up but to show out. Not to be among the rest but to be the absolute best. We’re coming to work, not to play. We’re coming to kill, not to kick it. Baby, I got to believe that we’re coming.”
Expectations for Sanders’ first season as head coach in Colorado are mixed, with some expecting a sudden turnaround for the Buffaloes, who went 1-11 in the 2022-23 season. Many more are expecting similarly disappointing results at first, though it is inarguable that Sanders has radically changed the culture in his short time at the helm.
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