Colorado State safety Henry Blackburn has reportedly been receiving death threats following his late hit Saturday night against Colorado star Travis Hunter.
Rams’ athletic director Joe Parker told ESPN that university and local police are investigating threats the senior player and his family have received.
Blackburn’s phone number, along with his mother’s, was released on the Internet, and Blackburn’s university address and his family’s home address were also leaked.
“We’re very concerned about our player’s safety, as Henry and his family have continued to receive these threats,” Parker said (via 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.”
Blackburn got flagged for a blatantly late hit that injured Hunter early in Colorado’s win over their in-state rival. Although Hunter briefly returned, he later left the game and is expected to miss several weeks with a lacerated liver.
Henry Blackburn was assessed a personal foul after this late hit on Travis Hunter. pic.twitter.com/0avKi1erLU
— ESPN (@espn) September 17, 2023
The football world roundly condemned Blackburn’s play. Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons said on his podcast that it had “malicious intent” and was “super dirty” and that Blackburn shouldn’t be “playing in any football league.”
Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell defended Blackburn Monday, telling reporters it was a “bang-bang play.” And he called the threats against Blackburn “sad.”
“It’s just sad,” Norvell said (via ESPN). “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.”