“He Does Not Deserve a Death Threat”
During the Colorado vs. Colorado State football game, Henry Blackburn (CSU) delivered a late hit on Travis Hunter (Colorado). CSU was flagged for unnecessary roughness and Travis Hunter was injured on the play. This kind of play happens quite often in football. A defensive player runs hard to deliver a hit on an offensive player. Sometimes the defensive player gets there too late and delivers a hit a split second after the play is over. If this happens, referees call a penalty. Players understand that this is part of the game and it sometimes happens.
What we don’t often hear is the reaction from the fans. Some fans are overzealous and take things too far. They find the email address of the offending player and send nasty emails. Sometimes they post awful things on social media directed at the player. Sometimes these comments come in the form of death threats.
Coach Deion Sanders, head coach of the Colorado football team, heard about these death threats. In his press conference after the game, he tried to put this into a proper perspective.
“He does not deserve a death threat over a game. At the end of the day, this is a game. Someone must win, someone must lose. Everyone continues their life the next day. I’m saddened if there’s any of our fans 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.”
Joe’s Perspective: Sports means a lot to many people in America. We identify with our teams. We take pride when they win and we suffer when they lose. We take things personally. We judge and we criticize from the outside. We post on social media and call radio shows. However, fans should not be crossing lines. At a professional football game last week, a fan punched another fan and killed him in the stands… over a game. That’s just wrong. Likewise, fans should not be attacking players and placing death threats. Again, this is just wrong. I applaud Coach Sanders for setting the record straight and for publicly forgiving a player from the opposite team. I hope the fans that needed to hear these comments, heard them, loud and clear.
Your Turn: As an athlete, what advice do you have for fans or parents who attend sporting events and take things too far?