Jay Norvell says a Colorado State football player has received death threats following last week’s game at Colorado.
CSU safety Henry Blackburn became the target of an online surge of attacks following a hit on CU receiver Travis Hunter during Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Showdown at Folsom Field.
Blackburn was assessed a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after a hitting Hunter near the sideline after a deep pass fell incomplete. Hunter returned to the game not long after but then exited and was taken to a local hospital.
“Our university is supporting him (Blackburn). The police department is supporting him because of the seriousness of the threats that have come out of this,” Norvell said in his Monday press conference. “It’s just sad. 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.”
Norvell said Blackburn and his family were the target of death threats due to the hit, with his address posted online.
“I reviewed the play. It’s a play that happens sometimes. When you throw a deep ball and have a guy playing middle safety, he’s got to react on the boundary and he’s going full speed. It was a bang-bang type of a play," Norvell said. "The officials looked at it and we looked at it. It’s certainly not something that we teach or coach. It happens in football sometimes. Seems to have been a lot of attention about that play, but it’s a play that happens."
Norvell said he's concerned about the rising level in negative social media reaction toward players.
"I hope there can be some accountability in that type of behavior, and I’m very concerned for our kids. These are 18-to-22-year-old kids," Norvell said. "They play college football. I know a lot of people get excited about that, but there’s really no place for that in athletics and in sports. I hope everybody is healthy and Travis gets healthy and gets back out there. We certainly don’t want to see anybody get hurt."
"It's football at the end of the day. Stuff like that's gonna happen," Hunter said. "It's football. Something bad is going to happen on the field sooner or later. You just have to get up and fight again."
This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Colorado State football coach Jay Norvell says player received death threats