Deion Sanders Intervention Is What A Father Is Supposed To Do. : ThyBlackMan

Friday, September 21, 2018

Deion Sanders Intervention Is What A Father Is Supposed To Do.

April 5, 2015 by  
Filed under Fatherhood, News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( I read with curiosity the very interesting public exchange between Deion Sanders and his son, Deion Sanders Jr.  The Twitter talk between the two evolved from a father-son check over the use of the term “hood doughnuts.”  Here’s how it went down:

Deion Sanders Jr:  “Gotta get the hood doughnuts almost every morning. If my doughnuts don’t come in a plain white box, I don’t want them!”

His father came right back with some words of his own:

@DeionSandersJr you’re a Huxtable with a million $ trust fund stop the hood stuff! Lololol. Son.

Of course it was all in fun and there were no hard feelings between the two.  But I found the conversation to be a curious one, mainly because I’ve seen a lot of middle class fathers dealing with sons who felt compelled to hide their middle class upbringing, with an effort to trade it in for something that lets them “keep it one-hun-it” (one hundred).deionsanders-2015-and-son

Most of the American public, and even the world, has formed this odd fascination with the hood ever since hip-hop emerged from the South Bronx many decades ago.  The funny thing, to me, is that a lot of the people who love being “hood” at every opportunity have little understanding of just how difficult it is to live under those circumstances.  As a wise friend of mine once said, “Everybody wants to be black until it’s time to be black.”

I was touched by Deion Sanders speaking to his son and appreciate the fact that his son took it in stride.  For those who don’t think the fatherhood crisis is a serious problem, we have to realize that this is what good fathers do:  Keep their sons in check.  I receive countless complaints from single moms who claim that “My 17-year old son is out of control, I just don’t know what to do with him.”

When I hear about exhausted and frustrated single parents who don’t know what to do with their teen sons, the only thing I can think to suggest is to give them a strong male mentor/father figure.  The ugly, awkward and uncomfortable truth that many of us fail to accept is that TEENAGE BOYS NEED FATHER FIGURES IN THEIR LIVES.

Even among adolescent elephants, a lack of male role models will cause young males to act out in various ways, namely with violence toward other animals.  But when male role models are present, the elephants are controlled and less likely to behave in anti-social ways.  Their mothers, as necessary as they are, can’t really do that; they’re just not built like their fathers.

The example I gave with elephants can also be applied to the young men I see on the South Side of Chicago.  Many of these children, without fathers present in their lives, either turn to gang leaders for mentorship or find themselves behaving in ways that reflect anger and frustration toward the world around them.  Many of their fathers are gone away to prison, forced into slave labor for the federal government.  In fact, black males are the most incarcerated group of human beings on the entire planet.  Our world is less safe when we let our society lock so many male role models in prison.

Another thing that I loved about Deion Sanders’s interaction with his son is that it reminded me of a similar conversation I had with my own father over a decade ago.  I’d appeared on a television show with a rapper, and found myself flowing along a little too much with the conversation.  Not that I was out of character, but I did let some things slide that I normally would have spoken out against in other circumstances.  Maybe I was admittedly a little star struck and letting my “inner hood” come out.

After the show was over, I got a call from my father.  He knew that I’d messed up and flat out told me:  “As a black man, you should never co-sign on ignorance.”

My dad had checked me, the way a good father does.  I was ashamed of my behavior, swallowed my pride, took it in stride, held my chin up and committed myself at that moment to being a better black man.

That’s what good fathers do and that’s what Deion Sanders was doing for his son.  Way to go brother, I’m proud of you.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  For more information, please visit


2 Responses to “Deion Sanders Intervention Is What A Father Is Supposed To Do.”
  1. Julie says:

    Ditto what Paula says! I struggle to keep my 21 year old son in check and I’m a white, 60 year old woman, married to a white 6’3″ who won’t do this job. I greatly appreciate your comments. I’ve had to bend and adopt checking behaviors I never thought I would. Like our current President says, we have a moral responsibility at all levels. I’m not big, nor important, and I often fail and flagellate myself at my weakness, but to my dying day, I will work to do what I must to keep my kids behavior in check. Thanks for your encouragement.

  2. Paula says:

    No I could not save up $1,000 dollars in a year! Am I an exception? I have debts, I can barely eat healthy, I have a large mortgage, I cannot afford new clothes period. Go to the cinema? For get it. Go to eat out? ditto. So please don’t say anyone can – it’s just not true….
    It would take me about 10 years – seriously, and that would be hard! I just DON’T HAVE ANY LEFT OVER AFTER SURVIVING, AND HONOURING MY DEBT AS BEST I CAN!
    (So maybe when you said anybody, you had a certain audience in mind, but you didn’t reckon on little old me might just happen to be watching too!) (By the way, I’m not Black!!!)

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