Colorado coach Deion Sanders says he has "forgiven" Colorado State safety Henry Blackburn after reports surfaced that Blackburn following Saturday night's game in Boulder. Blackburn was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct late in the first quarter for a late hit on Buffaloes two-way star Travis Hunter on a pass down the left sideline. Hunter returned to play in the second quarter, but was taken to the hospital in the second half and .
"I forgive him. Our team forgives him. Travis ... he's forgiven him. Let's move on. That kid does not deserve that," Sanders said Tuesday during his press conference.
Sanders praised Blackburn's effort in Colorado's 43-35 double-overtime win over Colorado State.
"Henry Blackburn is a good player who played a phenomenal game," Sanders said. "He made a tremendous hit on Travis on the sideline. You can call it 'dirty', you can call it 'he's just playing the game of football'. But whatever it was, he should not be receiving death threats.
"At the end of the day, this is a game. Somebody must win. Somebody must lose. Everybody continues their life the next day. It's very unfortunate. I'm saddened 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 abilities, and he made a mistake."
“I forgive [Blackburn], our team’s forgiven him, Travis has forgiven him, let’s move on.”— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 19, 2023
Colorado head coach Deion Sanders stepped up in Blackburn's defense Tuesday, condemning the harassment Blackburn and his family have received. pic.twitter.com/N90017the9
Colorado State coach Jay Norvell and athletic director Joe Parker said that Colorado State campus police have investigated the reports. Norvell commented on the threats during a news conference on Monday.
"Our university is supporting him, the police department is supporting him, because of the seriousness of the threats that have come out of this," Norvell said. "It's just sad. It's sad that that's the state of the world we live in. I mean, 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."
No. 19 Colorado will travel to Eugene to take on No. 10 Oregon this weekend and host No. 5 USC on Sept. 30. That will lead them into their bye week prior to going on the road to take on Arizona State on Oct. 7.