Deion Sanders invited rapper DaBaby to speak to Colorado team. It was a huge mistake.

This is who University of Colorado coach Deion Sanders invited to speak to his players before they played USC on Saturday.

In 2021, rapper DaBaby made a series of ugly homophobic and misogynistic remarks at a concert. He also spread misinformation about HIV and AIDS. His remarks were so awful, and so damaging, that Elton John condemned him.

Elton. John.

"We’ve been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show," John wrote. "This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic." He added: "HIV misinformation and homophobia have no place in the music industry. We must break down the stigma around HIV and not spread it. As musicians, it’s our job to bring people together."

GLAAD blasted DaBaby. Madonna criticized him. Questlove did as well. "Right is right & his actions are wrong," Questlove said. "Somebody Gotta say it: Homophobia/Transphobia/Xenophobia/Misogyny/Racism–this should go w/o saying is morally wrong."

DaBaby lost sponsorships and festival slots. He had supporters but overall his words, his terrible words, were one of the biggest stories in the music industry at the time because of how so many people in it rallied to condemn him.

This is who University of Colorado coach Deion Sanders invited to speak to his players before they played USC on Saturday.

DaBaby shot and killed a man, saying he did so in self-defense. He assaulted a woman fan prior to a concert. There are other problematic accusations.

This is who University of Colorado coach Deion Sanders invited to speak to his players before they played USC on Saturday.

Sanders was trying to rally his team prior to facing a tough opponent but that's who he picked to help him? Sanders couldn't find someone who didn't spread hate, who didn't kill someone, who didn't slap a woman?

There was really no one else better than DaBaby?

"I got somebody else who went through something," Sanders says in the video as he introduces DaBaby. "Who dealt with some issues. That had to regroup. Veered off a little bit. Got back on track …"

I'd argue that DaBaby didn't go "through something." He made his own situation. It wasn't done to him. He also wasn't just dealing with some issues. He caused pain in the LGBTQ community by spreading dangerous misinformation.

Not to mention the message you're sending to young men by putting someone in front of them who assaulted a woman.

Criticizing Sanders now may seem like a contradiction to a recent column I wrote saying how Colorado is Black America's team. But it's not a contradiction at all. Multiple things can be accurate. The truth is, Sanders' arc is going to be long and complicated. It will be part greatness and inspiration, and it will also be thorny and lined with missteps. This is one of those mistakes.

Sanders was attempting to show his players that you can come back from adversity. His team was blown out by Oregon last week and Sanders was looking for a way to to show the players that they will always face adversity. It's how you respond to it that matters.

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And DaBaby has every right to try and climb back from self-induced cancellation. There are also plenty of horrible people who come back from making mistakes. DaBaby's behavior, however, was so ugly and extreme, any type of message about redemption is lost. What has DaBaby done that shows he's worked to change his views? What's he done to justify that important platform Sanders gave him?

There will certainly be young players who will love hearing from DaBaby, and I'll get a number of old man yelling at clouds gifs sent my way. However, I ask again: There was no one better?

No one? Really?

Sanders doesn't need to have anyone like DaBaby speak to his program. It's going to reach remarkable heights because there is no one in the country that's a better recruiter than Sanders. Colorado is going to win a national title. It's only a matter of time.

So, this is who University of Colorado coach Deion Sanders invited to speak to his players before they played USC on Saturday.

It was DaBaby, who didn't deserve to be there.

This was Sanders' first big mistake at Colorado.

Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Mike Freeman on social media @mikefreemanNFL

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Deion Sanders makes error letting DaBaby speak to Colorado players