A college football player makes a late and very hard sideline hit on an opposing player. The incident is perceived by many as a dirty play that sends the University of Colorado’s Travis Hunter to the hospital with a lacerated liver. The player who made the hit, Colorado State’s Henry Blackburn, is condemned by many fans, some of whom actually make death threats against Blackburn.

At a subsequent news conference, Colorado’s head coach Deion Sanders could have joined in the criticism of Blackburn for injuring his star player. Instead, Sanders used his platform as a popular sports figure to lift up Blackburn and to cool the emotions of the player’s critics. His message was clear and concise, as Sanders put the incident in its proper perspective. Check out the clip below.

In our workshops, we preach the importance of showing warmth and strength during media encounters. Sanders succeeded on both counts. By the way, Travis Hunter is well on his way to a complete recovery and is expected to play again in about two weeks!