On Sunday, sports analyst and former NFL player Shannon Sharpe created a Twitter uproar after tweeting that he wouldn’t have chosen to attend a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) if he had better grades coming out of high school.
It all went down after Sharpe took to Twitter to address the hot topic of Deion Sanders leaving Jackson State University to head the football program at the University of Colorado.
While doing so Sharpe engaged in a heated Twitter discourse defending the former JSU coach.
Sharpe first responded to a tweet criticizing Sanders, telling the user that he sounded “ridiculous. ”
He continued to respond to tweets defending Sanders’ decision, saying that Black people should uplift him as he has been given an opportunity “few have gotten” to coach a Power 5 program.
Despite Sharpe’s intentions, one tweet in particular ignited outrage on HBCU Twitter.
“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.”
Sharpe received plenty of backlash from Twitter users, as many were disappointed and offended by his comment that seemingly downplayed HBCUs.
Other users argued that Sharpe’s statement was strictly based on the athletic programs at HBCUs, and not the institutions in their entirety.
Sharpe continued to defend his statement and respond to the backlash he received.
In response to a user who took issue with him comparing living in the neighborhood you grew up in, to attending an HBCU, he fired back saying, “From an educational stand HBCU’s are on par with PWI’s but from a facilities and resources stand point it’s not close. Stop trying to pretend it is. It isn’t.
Sharpe stood on his original comment that going to an HBCU wasn’t his first choice. However, he said that he would still choose to go to Savannah State University ‘knowing what he knows now.’
He also revealed in a tweet that he chose to stay at Savannah State even after having the opportunity to transfer to a Power 5 school his sophomore year.
Despite his comments, Sharpe appears to suggest that he remains a proud graduate of an HBCU with no disdain for them.