Deion Sanders Speaks on Rivalry Death Threats

Colorado head coach Deion Sanders
Colorado head coach Deion Sanders speaks regarding threats to player | Image by Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado head coach Deion Sanders defended a Colorado State football player who received death threats after delivering a hit that removed Colorado two-way star from the rivalry game on Saturday night.

Henry Blackburn, a safety for Colorado State, hit Hunter in the midsection as a pass sailed past both of them during the first quarter, knocking Hunter out of the game (and the next few) with what turned out to be a lacerated liver.

“Henry Blackburn is a good player who played a phenomenal game,” Sanders told the media on Tuesday. “He made a tremendous hit on Travis on the sideline. You could call it dirty; you could call it [that] he was just playing the game of football, but whatever it was does not constitute that he should be receiving death threats. … He does not deserve death threats over a game.”

University and local police have been investigating the threats after Blackburn and his family had their address and contact information leaked online, making it easy to target them through any means.

“I’m really concerned about some of the trends that are going on in college football right now and the reaction that people have to the players on the field,” Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell said during his weekly press conference on Tuesday. “I just don’t think those kinds of things have any place in college football. … I hope there’s some kind of accountability in that type of behavior, and I’m very concerned for our kids.”

“There’s no place for that in sports,” he added. “I hope everyone’s healthy and Travis gets healthy and gets back out there, but we certainly don’t want to see anybody get hurt.”

Hunter was taken to the hospital, and Sanders revealed he was released on Monday. He is expected to miss three weeks, but both teams want to move on from the incident.

“At the end of the day, this is a game,” Sanders said. “Someone must win. Someone must lose. Everybody continues their life the next day. I’m saddened if any of our fans are on the other side of those threats. I would hope and pray not. That kid was just playing [to] the best of his ability, and he made a mistake. I forgive him, our team forgives him, and Travis has forgiven him. Let’s move on. That kid does not deserve that.”



— Missouri quarterback Brady Cook is questionable for Saturday’s game against Memphis with a knee injury suffered during an upset win against No.15 Kansas State.

— Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker, notified on Monday that he is being fired, issued a statement in response to the university.

— Iowa tight end Luke Lachey is out for the season.

— Liberty quarterback Kaiden Salter was named The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week after this first career 300-yard passing game against Buffalo. The award acknowledges Texas-born college football players for outstanding performances on the field.

— Baylor has reached a settlement in the 2016 sexual assault case that involved its football program.

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