HORRIBLE NEWS: A star member of the Rams was suspended for…

Many have called for Blackburn to be suspended for the hit, including former NFL star Donovan McNabb, who said the senior safety should be suspended on the first episode of Outkick’s “The 5 Spot with Donovan McNabb” podcast.

The late hit came a few days after Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell took a jab at Sanders for wearing a hat and sunglasses during sessions with the media.

“As far as the spat is concerned, Norvell went too far,” McNabb said. “He went too far. And being a guy that his program has really struggled over the last four, five years, he brought some positivity to them. But then you didn’t have to call him out. And when you call Deion out, Deion is going to make entertainment out of it.

“I think what it led to was the players now having animosity on the field, which led to that hit on Travis Hunter. Which I still think he should be suspended, the safety should be suspended for at least four games for that. Now, does that happen in college? No, but that’s unacceptable. That’s truly unacceptable.”

On June 24, 2019, Donovan McNabb is in Santa Monica, California for the 2019 NBA Awards, held at Barker Hangar. (Leon Bennett/WireImage)

The issue of Blackburn’s hit turned really nasty on Monday when it was reported the senior safety was receiving death threats that university police and local authorities have been looking into, Rams’ athletic director Joe Parker told ESPN.


Blackburn’s cellphone number and his mother’s were leaked on the internet, leading to many calls and texts. His campus address and family’s home address were also published.

Sanders condemned those who sent the reported death threats at his press conference Tuesday, saying the team has forgiven Blackburn for the hit to Hunter.

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 was just playing the game of football.’

“But whatever it was, it does not constitute that he should be receiving death threats. This is still a young man trying to make it in life. A guy dedicated to excellence who is trying to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional football player and, hopefully, graduating with honors or a degree. He does not deserve a death threat over a game.”

Colorado Buffaloes receiver Travis Hunter (12) gets hit by Colorado State Rams defensive back Henry Blackburn (11) in the first quarter during the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Folsom Field Sept. 16, 2023. Hunter was injured on the play but returned to the game. (Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

Hunter was out of the hospital as of Tuesday, Sanders told reporters.

“At the end of the day, this is a game. Someone must win, someone must lose,” Sanders added. “Everybody continues their life the next day. Very unfortunate. I’m saddened if there’s any of our fans that are on the other side of those threats. I would hope and pray not, but that kid was just playing to the best of his ability, and he made a mistake.

“So, I forgive him, our team forgives him. Travis, he’s forgiven him. Let’s move on, but that kid does not deserve that.”

New episodes of “The 5 Spot with Donovan McNabb” will be released every Tuesday and Friday throughout the NFL season.

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