Shannon Sharpe Addresses Backlash For Seemingly Claiming He Only Attended An HBCU Because His Grades Were Bad: That Wasn’t My First Choice! 

Shannon Sharpe

Shannon Sharpe Addresses Backlash For Seemingly Claiming He Only Attended An HBCU Because His Grades Were Bad: That Wasn’t My First Choice!

Shannon Sharpe’s latest comments on why he attended an HBCU have landed him in the hot seat.

On Sunday (December 4), sports analyst Shannon Sharpe took to Twitter to address a situation that appears to have stemmed from head football coach Deion Sanders leaving Jackson State University (an HBCU) for a head coaching job at the University of Colorado Boulder (a PWI).

Shannon Sharpe

The conversation seemingly began after Shannon Sharpe responded to a tweet by a social media user who appeared to call out the 55-year-old football coach. The former football tight end wrote back,

“You sound RIDICULOUS” 

Another user chimed in to seemingly obtain more information from Sharpe, 54. They asked,

“Shannon, why can’t an HBCU be THE PRIZE?! It’s like moving out of a Black neighborhood is always “progress.” What other people are taught to see getting away from themselves (i.e. their neighborhoods, institutions and
companies, etc.) as “success” besides Blacks?” 

Sharpe replied,

“Do you still live in the neighborhood
you grew up in?”

When asked if Black institutions are a downgrade, the former NFL star said,

“Be happy for a black man getting an opportunity few have gotten.”

After being asked the question a second time, Sharpe claimed he only went to an HBCU because his grades weren’t up to par. He elaborated and said,

“I went to an HBCU, but only because I was prop 48. It worked out gr8 for me. Had I had the grades coming out of hs. I wouldn’t haven’t chosen an HBCU.”

From there, things got more interesting. The TV host began to face backlash for his statement after seemingly downplaying HBCUs. Many social media users took to the platform and began tweeting against Sharpe’s choice of words, while others appeared to believe his statement was based on athleticism at universities.

See reactions below:

Following his controversial statement, Sharpe took the time to defend his comments and responded to some of the backlash he’s received. In response to a user who took issue with Sharpe comparing neighborhoods to HBCUs, he fired back and said,

“From an educational stand HBCU’s are on par with PWl’s, but from a facilities and resources stand point it’s not close. Stop trying to pretend it is. It isn’t” 

Sharpe, who attended Savannah State University, responded to another user who was critical of his statement and said,

“SSU was gr8 for me and when I had a chance to leave I didn’t. How you took an HBCU wasn’t my 1st choice for college as a slight is beyond me. That’s your choice how you read.”

Although it wasn’t his first option, Sharpe ultimately decided to stay at Savannah State University for the duration of his time there. He responded to another user and wrote,

“Felt so bad had a chance transfer to power 5 after my sophomore season I stayed. You’re DUMB”

Shannon Sharpe also addressed the entire situation on air. In part, he said,

“They got mad at me yesterday, I tweeted…I went to an HBCU, that wasn’t my first choice! It wasn’t.”

After listing PWIs he would have preferred to attend at the time, Sharpe continued,

“The only thing I knew about a Black college was the United Negro College Fund.”  

He added that knowing what he knows now, even if he had better grades, he would have still played for Savannah State University.


What are your thoughts on Shannon Sharpe’s statement on his decision to attend an HBCU? Share it with us below! 

Authored by: Ariel Whitely