University of Colorado Boulder head football coach Deion Sanders defended Colorado State safety Henry Blackburn Tuesday after he received death threats for a late hit in a game that sent Colorado star Travis Hunter to the hospital.
The NFL Hall of Famer, who's now known as Coach Prime, said he and his team have forgiven Blackburn and that there is no place for threats toward him or his family.
"That's absurd for people to be threatened," Sanders said at a weekly press conference. "I don't mind getting death threats. I get them every week. But a kid, it's not good. ... He does not deserve a death threat over a game. At the end of the day, this is a game — someone must win, someone must lose. Everybody continues their life the next day."
Blackburn delivered a late blow to the midsection of Hunter in the first quarter of the Rocky Mountain Showdown last weekend. The hit drew a flag for unnecessary roughness, and Hunter was transported to a local hospital to be treated for a lacerated liver.
The threats toward Blackburn and his family began before Colorado's dramatic double-overtime victory. Sanders has since praised Blackburn as a "good player" who was simply trying to make a big play.
"He made a tremendous hit on Travis on the sideline," he told reporters. "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."
Hunter also defended the hit, saying Blackburn was just doing "what he was supposed to do" in that situation.
"It's football. Something bad is going to happen on the field sooner or later," Hunter said on his online streaming show. "You've got to get up and fight again."
Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell said Monday that Blackburn and his family had their address and cellphone numbers posted on social media accounts, which may have influenced the threats made against them. He added that police are already looking into the situation given the nature of the comments.
Sanders' Colorado is undefeated this season and ranked No. 19 in the nation. The Buffaloes will take on No. 10 Oregon on Saturday.
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