Colorado wide receiver/defensive back player Travis Hunter and head coach Deion Sanders both addressed an illegal hit made by Colorado State safety Henry Blackburn following that injured Hunter during the Buffaloes' 43-35 double-overtime win on Saturday (September 16).
“It’s football at the end of the day,” Hunter said during a live stream Monday (September 18) night. “Stuff like that is going to happen, so I just stay humble. He did what he was supposed to do. It’s football. Something bad is going to happen on the field sooner or later.
“You’ve just gotta get up and fight again. That’s what I try to do, get up and fight. Good thing the doctors stopped me, because if there was no doctors there, I would have still been out there playing. But I’m thankful for everybody that helped me.”
Sanders personally addressed Blackburn during his press conference on Tuesday (September 19) and condemned the death threats he and his family were reported to have received after the hit.
“Henry Blackburn is a good player who played a phenomenal game,” Sanders said (h/t USA TODAY). “He made a tremendous hit on Travis on the sidelines. You can call it dirty, you can call it (anything), he was just playing the game of football. But whatever it was, it does not constitute that he should be receiving death threats. This is still a young man trying to make it in life, a guy who is 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. At the end of the day, this is a game. Someone must win, someone must lose. Everybody continues their life the next day. It’s very unfortunate. I’m saddened and if there’s any of our fans that’s on the other side of those threats — I would hope and pray not — but that kid was just playing to the best of his ability and he made a mistake. I forgive him, our team forgives him. Travis, he’s forgiven him. Let’s move on.”
Blackburn, a senior from Boulder, the same city as the University of Colorado campus, was flagged for a personal foul after a hit on Hunter during the first half of Saturday's game, which resulted in the two-way star suffering what Sanders told FOX Sports' Skip Bayless was a lacerated liver that would keep Hunter out at least three weeks. Blackburn and his family reportedly received threats even before the game concluded after cell phone numbers for the defensive back and his mother were shared online, as well as Blackburn's campus address and home address, Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker told ESPN on Monday.
University and Fort Collins police have launched an investigation into the threats after the family received an overwhelming amount of threatening calls and messages, as well as social media post, following the hit.
"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."