Colorado State defensive back Henry Blackburn allegedly received death threats after making a flagrant hit on Colorado star Travis Hunter on Saturday night.
Blackburn was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after drilling Hunter on a pass that had fallen incomplete well before Blackburn laid the hit.
Hunter, a star two-way athlete who plays wide receiver and cornerback, was hospitalized during the game on Saturday and is expected to be out for three weeks, Colorado head coach Deion Sanders announced on Monday.
Colorado State athletics director Joe Parker told ESPN on Monday that Blackburn and his family have received death threats over the incident.
“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.”
Hunter briefly returned to the game after the play, before he was transported to the hospital with an undisclosed injury.
“It’s just sad,” Colorado State’s head coach Jay Norvell told reporters on Monday, pertaining to the threats Blackburn and his family allegedly received. “It’s sad that that’s the state of the world we live in. It’s a football game. Let’s not make it more than that. We don’t want anybody to get hurt. We don’t coach that kind of football.”
Colorado ultimately won the game 43-35 in double overtime.
Speaking on FS1’s “Undisputed” on Monday, former NFL defensive back Richard Sherman said that the lack of a suspension for Blackburn on the play “makes me feel that they [Colorado State] set a bounty out” on Hunter.
There has been no evidence suggesting that was the case, but two days later tensions are still clearly running high in the Colorado-Colorado State rivalry.