Deion Sanders was at the prime of his life in the mid-late 90’s. He had won two Super Bowls and appeared in a World Series. He was rich, had become a father and even released an album.
But as reported by The Undefeated in 1997, he drove his car off a cliff in an suicide attempt.
“I was going through the trials and tribulations of life. I was pretty much running on fumes,” he said. “I was empty, no peace, no joy. Losing hope with the progression of everything.”
Sanders recounted the suicide attempt in his autobiography “Power, Money & Sex: How Success Almost Ruined My Life.” He survived a 30- to 40-foot drop without any serious injuries. He then decided his life was worth living.
“I finally just got on my knees and gave it all to the Lord,” he said.
“Slowly, but surely, I had to deal with my faith, deal with my strength,” Sanders said. “I had to get a lot of Word in so that I could fight off the enemy. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my faith. People argue about what faith is, and who Jesus is, but it works for me. I’m not going to sit here and argue about who is what, and what is what, I’m just going to say it works for me.”
He began reading the Bible and seeking guidance from mentors such as Bishop T.D. Jakes.
“No one had told me that life would be tough going from one team to another one,” Sanders said. “Going from the enemy’s team, being one of his soldiers, to God’s team. That’s a tremendous turnaround.”
Sanders said he became committed to living a faith-first lifestyle.
“I don’t believe you can be at your optimum without your faith,” Sanders said. “Sports is sports, it’s a game. My faith is everything. It’s the gas that propels the courage, the truth, keeps me going. It’s the wind, it’s the wings, it’s the air that pumps into my lungs, that provokes me to live. Faith is everything.”
The former NFLer says he’s a member of Vision Regeneration Church in Dallas, led by Bishop Omar Jahwar.
“Finding someone that’s like-minded at this age and stage of my life is a delight to me,” Sanders said of Stand Together. “They give with no expectation, give from the heart. The want to fight domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, disenfranchised families. There’s so many things that they’re up against.”
The father of five children also works as a commentator with the NFL Network and he ministers to others.
“What people call ‘in the ministry,’ I call it ‘in my will.’ I’m in God’s will,” he said. “I don’t really get down with a lot of titles, this and that. I believe I’m just in God’s will. If he called me to minister to a group, or setting, or whatever, that’s what it is. That’s what I’m gonna do. I don’t really desire a title to go and do what I’ve been called to do. I think it’s only right to go.”
A new ESPN 30 For 30 documentary about Sanders’ suicide attempt will air January 31. The trouble began during his separation from first wife Carolyn Chambers, the mother of his two children Deion Jr and Deiondra. The end of his marriage propelled him into spiral downward with wanting to take his own life