Former NFL player Deion Sanders and his wife Pilar
Deion Sanders and his estranged wife Pilar during happier times. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The wife of Pro Football Hall of Fame member Deion Sanders learned that her husband was ending their marriage in divorce by reading about it online, according to a report.

According to TMZ, Pilar Biggers-Sanders, 44, was heartbroken and surprised when [she] read ... that Deion announced his decision, on his own.

Pilar's sole focus and top priority for the last twelve and a half years has been her marriage and children, he added. Based on recent discoveries, [Pilar] now realizes that Deion did not view their family the same way.

Sanders announced on Dec. 17 in a statement to TMZ that the marriage was over: Pilar and I have decided to end our marriage and move on to the next phase of our individual lives with mutual respect.

We are friends and our top priority has and will continue to be the well-being of our children.

We arrived at this decision prayerfully and carefully in order to be able to pursue what is in both of our best personal interests.

Sanders, who won Super Bowls playing with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, was previously married to Carolyn Chambers. They have two children together. According to Biggers-Sanders' lawyer, his current wife plans to seek a full settlement and the couple has not already agreed to terms.

Biggers-Sanders still hopes that Sanders will return to the marriage, however, and is confident that he will come to his senses and return to his family as he has in the past.