Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders called the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi a matter of "equality."
Sanders said the citizens of Mississippi's capital city and his football team have remained resilient, despite the difficulties in trying to get clean water.
Officials have blamed crumbling infrastructure for the crisis and the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that tens of thousands of residents were left without any running water for weeks.
"When you just sit there and think about Jackson is the darn state's capital and we dealing with this issue, we dealing with raggedy streets and I mean unpaid situations and, even at HBCU level would or overlooked and underserved it, it's unbelievable," Sanders said on a segment of USA TODAY Sports' "Sports Seriously."
"But there's no complaining by the residents. They just want solutions."
The EPA says in the past two years that 300 boil-water notices have been issued in Jackson.
Sanders thinks that communication by the city could solve a lot of problems, and added his football team gives people a sense of hope.
"That's why Jackson State football is so important. Because we give them a breath of fresh air," Sanders said. "We give them hope, we give them an escape every darn weekend, and usually that weekend comes out victorious and they even more elated and forget about the nuances and the nonsense of that's happening in Jackson with the state and the government."
The latest census estimates that Black residents make up nearly 83% of Jackson's population, and Sanders wants to make sure the citizens stick together through the good and bad times.
"The message from day one since I got in was, I believe. We believe, we truly believe. We always think positively. We don't think the worst of things," Sanders said. "We think the best of things. We make the best of the situation. We don't look at the worst of the situations. And we … have each other's back."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Deion Sanders calls Jackson, Mississippi water crisis about 'equality'