Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell and athletic director Joe Parker have condemned death threats toward safety Henry Blackburn after he injured Colorado wide receiver Travis Hunter with a late hit on Saturday.
Norvell and Parker both addressed the subject while speaking with media on Monday.
“I hope there can be some accountability in that type of behavior," Norvell told reporters. "I’m very concerned for our kids. There’s really no place for that in athletics and sports."
Parker told ESPN's Pete Thamel that both Blackburn's and his mother's cell phone numbers had been shared on the internet by the end of Saturday's game and that both have since been inundated with threatening calls and messages. Death threats were also shared on social media.
Blackburn's CSU campus address in Ft. Collins and his family's home address in Boulder were also shared, according to Parker. Saturday's game was hosted by Colorado in Boulder, roughly an hour's drive from Ft. Collins. CSU police are working with local authorities to investigate the threats, according to Parker.
“We’re very concerned about our player’s safety, as Henry and his family have continued to receive these threats,” Parker told Thamel. “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.”
The hit took place in the first quarter of Colorado's 43-35 double overtime victory in a high-profile matchup that drew national attention amid Colorado's now 3-0 start under first-year head coach Deion Sanders.
Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders targeted Hunter on a go route down the left sideline. After the ball fell incomplete, Blackburn ran around another CSU defender who was in man coverage and blindsided Hunter with a violent hit.
Travis Hunter was hit after the play by a dirty player on Colorado State named Henry Blackburn.
— Dom (@Underrated_Dom) September 17, 2023
— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) September 17, 2023
Blackburn was penalized for unnecessary roughness on the play, but did not receive a targeting violation and was allowed to remain in the game. Hunter briefly returned to the game, but he was soon removed and taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Deion Sanders said earlier Monday that Hunter is expected to miss three weeks with injury, reiterating his comments after Saturday's game.
“We’re going to do what we got to do to take care of him,” Sanders said Saturday. “I know Travis like a book. He’s probably going to want to be out for two weeks, but his health is more important than this game.”
Colorado has not revealed the nature of Hunter's injury.
Norvell acknowledged the nature of the hit in his comments Monday.
"That’s certainly not something that we teach or coach," Norvell told reporters. "It happens in football sometimes. I hope Travis gets healthy and gets back out there. We certainly don’t want to see anybody get hurt."