Wow, can Deion Sanders talk. Amid that witty sarcasm and banter is a man with a heart of gold when it comes to children. At the Television Critics Association’s 2014 Winter Press Tour Sanders told critics that he grew up never hearing the words “I love you” from his father or his stepfather, so today he showers children with those words. His life is the subject of Deion’s Family Playbook, a new reality series on OWN debuting in Saturday, March 1 at 10pm ET/PT.
“I had a biological father that used drugs and another stepfather that was somewhat of an alcoholic. That’s why I’ve never endeavored into drinking or smoking, but I never heard the words ‘I love you’ from any of those men, so I never felt love or appreciated and accepted,” Sanders says. “So, you would see me shower my kids with those three words day in and day out.” Here’s what we learn about Deion and Deion’s Family Playbook on OWN:
It’s not about fame and fortune.
“We’re not using this as a platform to catapult us to somewhere else. I’m comfortable with who I am, what I am, how I am, why I am, where I am, how I am doing, and where I’ve got to go to get to wherever I endeavor to go, if you can understand all that.
Deon’s got a ton of kids.
“I’m a single father. I am single, but not alone. I have Tracey. She’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me. My mother lives with me as well. We’re raising eight kids plus another 579 at and Prime Prep Academy and another 300 at Truth, my youth organization, so I love the fact of fathering. I love parenting.”
He’s right when it comes to parenting.
“No one has successfully conquered how to parent, but I feel like with the formula of time, and given the time my time is so precious. It’s one of the most precious coins that I own. Time coupled with love and we could all be successful parents.”
He doesn’t want football to be his legacy.
“I drive 54 miles one way to open up Prime Prep Academy and back, and I’m on the road two, two and a half hours a day just driving to and from, and this is my life. This is who I am. I would be saddened to think that all of you would — when it’s time for me to go on to be with the Lord — know me just from football and baseball. I want you to know me as one of the best fathers that ever lived.
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