Shannon Sharpe is not known for keeping his hot takes to himself. And while most people would have read the room and kept their HBCU opinions to themselves this week, the Undisputed host went full steam ahead.
“I went to an HBCU. But only because I was Prop 48. It would out GR8 for me,” tweeted Sharpe on Sunday. “Had I had the grades coming out of HS. I wouldn’t have chosen an HBCU.”
Now if like me you only get your sports news through osmosis and mostly against your will, the statement may have confused you. Why bring this up on a random Sunday?
But, days earlier former-Jackson State University football coach Deion Sanders announced that he was going to be the new coach at Colorado. The move pissed off a lot of people who were disappointed to lose a talented coach who seemed dedicated to the vision of improving HBCU’s historically underfunded football programs.
Not willing to let Sanders take all of the heat (or all of the attention), Sharpe decided to weigh-in, letting the world know if he could have, he wouldn’t have picked his HBCU. (Sharpe attended Savanah State University).
Unsurprisingly, Black Twitter had a lot to say about this unprompted admission.
“So you used your HBCU to get on cause you ain’t have the grades,” wrote Stahsay Gordone. “Shannon I just expected more from you.”
Many Black folks on twitter took the tweet as an attempt to downgrade HBCUs and diminish their achievements.
“That’s your testimony,” tweeted Brian K. Harris. “Some of us went to HBCUs despite the fact that we could have gone to a PWI. Our schools are about far more than sports and shouldn’t be diminished or downgraded because of it.”
Sharpe had his share of defenders, who argued that attacks on the former NFL hall of fame player lacked “perspective.”
At the end the day, the discourse around historically Black colleges and what level of respect the Black community does or doesn’t owe them will likely be around forever. And folks like Sharpe are going to wading into these fights as long as they have a platform.
But what do you think? Did Sharpe disrespect the place that made him what he is, or was he just pointing out a personal truth?