deion sanders blackburn
Screenshot: Bleacher Report Youtube

Deion Sanders, now known mainly as Coach Prime as the chief of the Colorado Buffaloes, is the talk of the town once again. Prime Time makes style an integral part of his personality, but that’s not all he is – and his response to the gruesome Travis Hunter injury last week against Colorado State proves it.

Deion Sanders, FSU

Deion Sanders when he was the same age as his players, via Wikimedia

He wears gnarly sunglasses. He’s been known to don a massive stetson in addition to his Jesus piece. He talks trash so good he invented his own style. He may have been the cockiest player in NFL history, while also backing it up and then some.

But that’s what we see on TV. It’s not necessarily what his players saw at Jackson State, or what his players see now at Colorado. Take away all the flash and the hip, complicated shoes and what you have left is Deion Sanders, the man.

That’s who spoke up when Henry Blackburn, the Colorado State DB who leveled star player Travis Hunter, started getting death threats.

As you can see in the above clip, the hit was cheap, vicious, and unnecessary. The hit lacerated Hunter’s liver, and will keep him sidelined for about a month.

Just about the only people with anything nice to say about Blackburn are Coach Prime and Hunter himself, whose response was either perfect or irresponsible, depending on your view: “It’s football at the end of the day.”

But you know how fans can be. Colorado fans were rightly incensed, and at least a few of them allegedly took things way too far; posting Blackburn’s address online and sending death threats.

Travis Hunter

Coach Prime doesn’t play like that. At a presser, he even began his response by praising Blackburn’s play. But he also admonished the fans who were sending death threats to a kid who was playing a game.

“He made a tremendous hit on Travis on the sideline. You could call it dirty, you could 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,” Prime said.

He made his point very clear: “He does not deserve a death threat over a game. At the end of the day, this is a game. … He was playing to the best of his ability, and he made a mistake. So I forgive him, our team’s forgiven him, Travis, he’s… he’s forgiven him. Let’s move on.”


Not only did Prime knock overzealous fans, he made sure to strongly defend Blackburn, and in doing so, he defended the game of football itself.

It may be a little jarring to see that side of Neon Deion, but that’s who he is when the bright lights are turned off. He’s a leader, and a moral man. Bravo, Coach Prime.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: