Deion Sanders, the man who has revolutionized Colorado football, took a moment during his recent press conference to discuss the recent controversy surrounding Colorado State’s Henry Blackburn.
In a recent matchup, Blackburn was involved in a controversial play where he delivered a significant hit on Travis Hunter, causing him to be hospitalized with a lacerated liver. Following the incident, Blackburn became the target of much criticism, with some Colorado fans even resorting to sending him death threats.
Sanders came out to defend Henry Blackburn
Sanders addressed the matter with empathy, stating,
Henry Blackburn is a good player who played a phenomenal game…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.
Highlighting the human side of the sport, Sanders added, “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 degree, committed to excellence and go to the NFL. He does not deserve a death threat over a game.”
In a heartfelt plea, Sanders said,
Let’s pray for that kid, man…That’s absurd, for people to be threatening him. I don’t mind getting death threats. I get them every week. But a kid, that’s not good.
Blackburn was called for a penalty for the hit on Hunter. Even though Hunter managed to return to the field briefly, he was later taken to the hospital for further assessment.
Blackburn and his family’s information was leaked
The situation escalated off the field as well. Jay Norvell, the Rams head coach, revealed the disturbing extent of the backlash Blackburn and his family have been subjected to, including having their personal addresses exposed online.
Joe Parker, Colorado State’s athletic director, shared his concerns when talking to ESPN:
We’re very concerned about our player’s safety, as Henry and his family have continued to receive these threats…Henry never intended to put anyone in harm’s way on the football field. It’s not what we teach or coach. We hope that the irrational vitriol directed at Henry stops immediately.
Following the game, Sanders provided an update on Hunter‘s condition, indicating a potential break from the field for a few weeks. Blackburn, on the other hand, is currently in his final year at Colorado State and has represented the Rams in 23 games over four seasons.
The game, filled with high tension, concluded with Colorado defeating Colorado State in a gripping double-overtime, resulting in a score of 43-35. The victory brought Colorado‘s season record to an impressive 3-0. The Buffaloes will take on top-ranked PAC-12 foe Oregon this Saturday in what promises to be another record-setting game for viewership numbers.