Deion Sanders didn’t offer any criticism towards Colorado State’s Henry Blackburn during his Tuesday press conference because he knew anything more would make life even tougher for the young man.
On Tuesday, Sanders condemned Colorado fans who have sent death threats to Colorado State defensive back Henry Blackburn for the hit that injured Travis Hunter in Saturday’s game.
“Henry Blackburn is a good player who played a phenomenal game,” Sanders said 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.
“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.”
Sanders added one more tidbit about the Blackburn situation.
“Let’s pray for that kid, man,” Sanders said. “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 whistled for a personal foul for his late hit on Hunter in the first half that would send the dynamic down to the ground in pain. Although he would return to play, he eventually left and had to be transported to the hospital.
Rams head coach Jay Norvell said Monday that Blackburn and his family had their addresses posted on social media and police got involved due to the serious nature of the threats.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel had more after speaking with Parker.
“Spoke to Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker about the harassment of defensive back Henry Blackburn, who delivered a controversial late hit on Colorado’s Travis Hunter on Saturday,” Thamel wrote in a Twitter thread. “Parker said that Colorado State police has worked in concert with local authorities to look into the threats – which have included death threats – on social media against Blackburn and his family.
“By the time the game ended on Saturday, both Henry and his mother’s cell phone numbers had been published on the Internet. They’ve been inundated with threatening calls and text messages. Henry’s campus address and his family’s home address were also published.”
“We’re very concerned about our player’s safety, as Henry and his family have continued to receive these threats,” Parker told ESPN. “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.”
Sanders told reporters after the game the expectation is Hunter will “be out a few weeks” after he went to the hospital in the third quarter for evaluation.
Blackburn is in his senior season at Colorado State. He has appeared in 23 games through four seasons.
Colorado defeated Colorado State, 43-35, in double-overtime on Saturday to improve its record to 3-0.
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