An Open Letter to People Sending Death Threats To CSU’s Safety
Last Saturday's Rocky Mountain Showdown was intense, with both teams leaving it all on the field. Emotions were flying high before the epic rivalry game even started and were further heightened by a brief pregame brawl between CU and CSU players that took place on the field.
Pressure, passion, and pride were felt by both teams' players throughout the game. And while it was a hard-fought battle, the Rams ended up losing in double overtime to the Buffaloes at the end of this year's Showdown.
One of the game's major talking points was an illegal hit delivered by Colorado State's safety, Henry Blackburn, to CU's receiver/corner, Travis Hunter. The late play, which left Hunter with an undisclosed injury in the first half of the game, went viral before the Showdown was even over. It's now been announced that Hunter will be out for multiple weeks due to the injury.
Out of anger, people began threatening Blackburn and his mother, going as far as posting both their phone numbers and addresses online, along with negative comments. Following the game, ESPN reported that the defensive back continues to be harassed via phone calls, texts, and social media posts. The Colorado State University Police Department and local authorities are also investigating death threats being made towards the player and his family.
As a Colorado State alumna, I wanted to see the Rammies take home the victory. And CSU held their own throughout the entire game - which was a bit unexpected given the hype and track record of CU's squad this season. Besides that, it was exciting to watch ESPN's College Gameday live (and to listen to the local commentators on K99) at Boulder, seeing both teams getting national media attention, and staying up past midnight to view the outcome (although not what I had hoped for).
Despite the final score, it's just a game.
The players gave it all they had, and in the end, only one team could win. Athletes on the football field are there to play the sport they love, not to intentionally harm each other, no matter how deep the rivalry runs.
To hear about the death threats being directed towards Blackburn and his family is upsetting, to say the least. An incident like this takes away the game's fun and certainly takes away from the meaning of "leaving it all on the field." It may have been an illegal hit, but Blackburn was not purposely trying to injure Hunter. I'm not a player, so I won't speak on their behalf, but I can imagine how much pressure both teams were under last Saturday. Unfortunately, the athletic efforts displayed during the game are being outshined by this sort of unnecessary drama.
In my opinion, the people making these negative statements need to take a seat on the bench and cool off. No doubt it was a dirty play, but does that really constitute threatening someone's life? And to bring their family members into it is even worse.
Do better, football fans.