TRUTH is part of Sanders’ nonprofit called the PrimeTime Association, named for Sanders’ popular nickname. Sanders, now an analyst with the NFL Network, told a crowd outside the venue, clamoring to see the Hall-of-Famer stroll the red carpet, that “it does get better” for those who are struggling to make ends or meet or achieve goals in life.
The gala attracted numerous celebrities from the entertainment world, including Grammy-award winning artist Ne-Yo and Atlanta TV anchor Monica Pearson, who retired last week.
“For one, I am happy for a young man who came up in this business right here in Atlanta and now he’s come full-circle to come back and started an organization to help the children of Atlanta,” Pearson said. “I’ve watched his career grow and I’ve watched him grow as a man and I really like that he’s giving back.”
Held at the Grand Atrium at 200 Peachtree, the party also included a live auction of items such as an autographed Michael Vick Falcons jersey and signed memorabilia of Hank Aaron, the former Atlanta Brave who held the title of Home Run King from 1974 to 2007 and is now second on the list to Barry Bonds with 755.
Sanders was honored by the attention and participation for the weekend.
“I feel so good and so thankful,” he said before heading inside for the gala.
The event was part of the third annual TRUTH sports weekend in Atlanta, which included the PrimeTime Celebrity Softball Challenge in Lithonia and the TRUTH Sports Youth Football Tournament in Stone Mountain.
Sanders starred at Florida State and was drafted in 1989, fifth overall, by the Falcons.
During his illustrious football career, he played for the Falcons (1989-93), San Francisco 49ers (1994), Dallas Cowboys (1995-99), Washington Redskins (2000) and Baltimore Ravens (2004-05), earning eight Pro Bowl selections and two Super Bowl rings. During his career, he intercepted 53 passes for 1,331 yards and also shined as a kick and punt returner. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
The versatile Sanders also played baseball for the Atlanta Braves during his nine-year career, making a name for himself as a speedster on the base paths.