Deion Sanders Apologizes to Hometown Fort Myers; 'This Is Long Overdue'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2019

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 26: NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders appears on set during the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins game at M&T Bank Stadium on October 26, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Deion Sanders received the key to the city in Fort Myers, Florida, on Saturday, and the Hall of Fame cornerback used the occasion to make amends with his hometown.

Sanders gave a heartfelt speech upon receiving the honor, per the Fort Myers News-Press' Melissa Montoya:

"This is long overdue. This is like a reconciliation for me. The reason it hurt so bad was because I don't give a damn what they say about me in Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, New York. I don't care because it was my job. ... When you talk about me, some things I let slide, but you are all family. You only get one shot at calling the place home. ...

"I apologize to you as well. You have no idea what you all did to me this particular weekend. The best is yet to come."

David Dorsey of the News-Press highlighted the sources for some of the past friction between Sanders and the city of Fort Myers. Local police arrested him twice—the first in 1988 while he was playing for Florida State, and the second in 1996.

"Those incidents, among others, have soured Sanders on his hometown," Dorsey wrote.

The eight-time Pro Bowler also grew frustrated when negotiations to help build affordable housing in Fort Myers fell through.

Dorsey also noted Fort Myers hadn't officially recognized Sanders' legendary football career by featuring his likeness on local billboards or naming a street in his honor.

Perhaps that can change now that the two sides have worked out their differences.

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