Colorado State defensive back Henry Blackburn has found himself at the center of a storm of controversy and threats after his big hit on Colorado Buffaloes star Travis Hunter during Saturday’s rivalry game.
In response, Buffs head coach Deion Sanders condemned the death threats that have been directed at Blackburn, emphasizing that the young athlete deserves support rather than intimidation.
“Henry Blackburn is a good player who played a phenomenal game,” Sanders said during a press conference on Tuesday. “He made a tremendous hit on Travis on the sideline. You could call it dirty, you could call it, ‘He was just playing the game of football.’ But whatever it was, it does not constitute that he should be receiving death threats.”
Very classy move by Deion Sanders, who made sure to say this during his press conference today:
"Henry Blackburn is a good player who played a phenomenal game… This is a still young man trying to make it in life … He does not deserve a death threat over a game."
"I forgive… pic.twitter.com/bx64k0ypgY
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 19, 2023
Sanders emphasized that Blackburn is a young man striving to fulfill his dreams both on and off the field.
“That this is still a young man trying to make it in life – a guy that’s trying to live his dream and hopefully graduate with honors or a degree, committed to excellence and go to the NFL. He does not deserve a death threat over a game,” Sanders stated.
The controversial hit occurred in the first half of the game, resulting in Blackburn being penalized for a personal foul. The hit sent Hunter to the hospital with a lacerated liver.
For what it’s worth, Hunter himself said he wasn’t holding any sort of grudge against Blackburn.
“It’s football at the end of the day. That stuff happens,” Hunter maturely said after getting released from the hospital.
Colorado WR/CB Travis Hunter on Henry Blackburn's illegal hit on him: "He did what he's supposed to do. It's football."
Blackburn's hit lacerated Hunter's liver, and he said it's cool.
That's that Heisman talk. pic.twitter.com/KGe5TGdk9H
— RJ Young (@RJ_Young) September 19, 2023
The threats against Blackburn began pouring in even before the game concluded, as Colorado State Athletic Director Joe Parker revealed to ESPN’s Pete Thamel.
These threats arrived through various means, including phone calls, text messages, and social media messages.
“University and local police have both investigated the threats,” Parker confirmed.
Coach Sanders closed his remarks by asking for prayers for Blackburn and condemning the threats directed at the young player: “I don’t mind getting death threats. I get them every week – but a kid, it’s not good.”
He urged everyone to move forward and learn from this incident, emphasizing that forgiveness and support are what Blackburn needs, not threats.
“That kid was just playing the best of his ability and he made a mistake. I forgive him. CU, our team forgives him. Travis, he’s forgiven him. Let’s move on. But that kid does not deserve that,” Sanders concluded.
What did you think about Blackburn’s hit?
Clearly, many Colorado fans were not happy…
You can literally see this piece of shit tracking Travis Hunter… Henry Blackburn knew exactly what he was doing and he needs to be Banned from College Football entirely for taking such a dirty and completely unnecessary cheap shot.pic.twitter.com/CZQdoJpzoK
— MΛSIΛM (@MasiaM) September 18, 2023