Because of what it is in life. For five days out of the week the men are home. You get up, you go to work, you go to that training camp, you go to practice and you do so for about eight hours and then you come home. You’re there by dinner every single night, let’s get rhe kids, let’s do homework, lets get our thing going on. Saturday they travel, Sunday they play and then they come right back home. It’s a schedule for six months. You’re on six months, you’re off six months, It’s very regular, whereas the basketball players play during the week. It’s a long season, they’re here, they’re there, it’s a lot for those women to handle. And those women were only giving what they were going through in life so whoever you are, that’s what’s happening. You can’t expect something different. You can expect pebbles and stones but you can’t expect blood out of them.
The basketball wives feel that groupies are a huge problem in their sport. Despite footballers having more stability with their schedules, is groupie-ism ever as out of control as it can get it basketball?
Not really, only because, personally, I haven’t been in the situation and the people I know really haven’t because it’s not really the groupies. I guess [the groupies] are doing their job. That’s what they do. However, it’s the men that are putting themselves in the situation around them or not putting themselves in that situation. Fortunately we haven’t dealt with any of that out here. I shouldn’t have to put a woman in check but I will if I have to. But I shouldn’t have to. And he takes care of that if at all we’re out anywhere but it’s really the men. You get back what you put out so if it’s a bunch of groupies that are following him then there’s something else going on.
What is the fascination with celebrity and athlete wives?
I think so many people play up what’s not real. Everyone wants to live a fantasy. Who wouldn’t want to be Cinderella on the good part? But it really doesn’t happen like that, so it’s the fascination to find out or to live up to the part where I have this wonderful fascinating life. But my home is falling apart. That’s not so fabulous. But on the other side, where there are people looking into celebrity lives or hip-hop lives, it’s because they see someone with an opportunity that they don’t have right now so I want to know with the opportunity that you have, what are you doing with that space.
You seem to be promoting a very positive image.
Before I was Deion’s wife, I grew up in the projects. I know what it’s like not to have and in my life I always said if I had this is what I would do. I would help kids out who are doing well in school. I would help people go to college if I had the chance. I would probably open up my own school. I would be able to help parents and kids. That’s what I was looking at. And to see people with opportunities doing or not doing, or just acting out of buffoonery just because you have been placed in a certain situation and you’re doing nothing with it or next to nothing is a disgrace to people who are. And this is on any realm. This is not just for wifey stuff or athletes or hip-hop stars. It’s just making a change in the community, just creating a legacy that’s gonna last and change people for the better.
You do have your feisty side, though. I saw you fussing at someone in the trailer.
In Football Wives, I’m the new kid. I’m walking into a group of six other women who already pretty much have a relationship with each other. Am I welcomed with open arms? Of course not! Would I be in reality? Of course not! Do people already have pre-existing notions and thoughts? Of course they do! Do they get attitudes with me without any of my doing? Of course! Is that reality? It sure is. It wasn’t fun going through it. It wasn’t fun taping it like that but it was real. It wasn’t anything I haven’t gone through in my life before so, prayerfully, even with a lot of the bullying mess that’s going on in these schools and we see all of these children without a strong foundation.
Number one, obviously, they don’t have that type of relationship with their parents or other adults who they can go to who trust them and who they trust to say hey I’m really having problems. That’s the key thing. But maybe someone can see this show and just thinking of a small part of it they can see how situations are handled when it’s not always advantageous to them. I pray that it helps someone some kind of way. And if it does help only one person, I did my job and I’m glad about it.
There’s a clip in the trailer for Football Wives where you were in tears.
[Laughs]. Everyone⎯business associates⎯everyone that I would not even think of come to me like, “Why were you crying?” And I’m like, “What were you doing watching that station?” [Laughs]. I know, there was an end to that. That was just the middle.
You were an actress, though, before marriage and motherhood.
Yes. And I am now. I still work. There’s still gonna be stuff on Vh1 too that I’m involved in but that wasn’t an act. My point is that every woman has something to offer whether you’re a wife or a mom, and so many times women get so involved in giving to other people that they never take time out for themselves and your well is going to run dry if you continue to dip and dip and dip in order to serve, in order to provide for your husband, for your boss, for your children, for your family⎯everyone but you and sooner or later, either you’re gonna choose to or life will make you break down⎯health, finances, whatever⎯and stop and say, “What about me?” And it will force you to take that moment and before you get to that point my whole thing is take a minute for you. I don’t want to just be known as someone’s wife. I’m so much more as a woman as a person than someone’s wife. That’s what that was about.