Fans got a glimpse yesterday into the wild personal life of former football star Deion Sanders when, via Twitter, he told fans he was being assaulted by ex-wife Pilar Sanders. Sanders tweeted, “Pray for me and my kids now! They just witnessed their mother and a friend jump me in my room. She’s going to jail n I’m pressing charges!”
He tweeted a photograph and his kids filling out an arrest report against their mother, though he later took it down.
Pilar Sanders was subsequently arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault. After being jailed overnight, she was released Tuesday from Collin County Jail, where she told reporters outside the jail that she was being treated unfairly.
“I’m a full-time mom, 100 percent for my children,” she said, nearly in tears. “And I just haven’t been given a fair shake.”
Some professional athletes thrive in the spotlight—and no athlete has thrived more conspicuously than Hall of Famer Sanders. During his career Sanders’s flashy play on the football field mirrored the lavish life he was living off of it.
After his retirement Sanders has been able to maintain his celebrity status, most notably through Twitter. Sanders, one of the most recognizable figures in NFL history, has over 300,000 Twitter followers.
While at first glance his Tweet may have come off as a joke, after seeing the vitriol directed at Sanders in response to the Tweet, one can’t help but to feel sorry for Sanders. Twitter and other social media sites have allowed celebrities to take their right to free speech directly to the public, though sometimes that right can be abused—think of all the celebrities who have Tweeted half-naked pictures of themselves the extreme—or it can result in ill-advised oversharing.
Many of us know people who have gone through the drama that Sanders and his ex are currently enduring. But in our celebrity-obsessed culture, when it’s a celebrity, it’s big news.