Deion Sanders (Image source: YouTube/CBS 9 News)
Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders categorically condemned the death threats directed toward a Colorado State Rams defensive back due to a late hit that injured Heisman Trophy candidate Travis Hunter.
Henry Blackburn delivered what many considered a dirty hit on star receiver Hunter that put him in the hospital with a lacerated liver. Hunter is expected to miss key games against marquee football programs Oregon and the University of Southern California, sparking outrage among Colorado fans. He was released from the hospital on Monday.Sanders said it is wrong to seek vengeance against Blackburn.
“Henry Blackburn is a good player who played a phenomenal game. He made a tremendous hit on Travis on the sideline,” Sanders said, according to NBC affiliate 9 News. “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.”
Sanders added that he is “saddened if there’s any of our fans that’s on the other side of those threats. I would hope and pray not. That kid was just playing the best of his ability and he made a mistake.
Sanders said he and Hunter have already forgiven Blackburn and it’s time to move on from Saturday’s rivalry game, which the Buffaloes came back and won, 43-35, in a double overtime thriller.
“It’s football at the end of the day. Stuff like that [the late hit] is going to happen,” Hunter said while speaking during a livestream on Monday, according to CNN. “[Blackburn] did what he was supposed to do. It’s football. Something bad is going to happen on the field sooner or later. You just got to get up and fight again. That’s what I try to do.
Sanders concluded the press conference by saying that Blackburn is worthy of sympathy and prayers instead of threats.
“Let’s pray for that kid. That is absurd for people to be threatening him. I don’t mind getting death threats. I get them every week,” he said. “But a kid, it’s not good.”
Source: Rolling Out