The verb deflect describes blocking something or changing its course. Hockey goalies deflect the flying puck with their sticks or blockers, making it travel in a different direction, preferably to a teammate's stick.
In a cartoon, a mouse might ask an approaching cat, "Hey, what's that up in the sky?" When the cat looks up, the mouse runs away, successful in his attempt to deflect the cat's attention. When you deflect, you throw someone or something off course, often by using a distraction. Another way to deflect something — such as criticism — is to blame someone else. Eventually the truth, like the cat who quickly sees there's nothing unusual up in the sky, catches up with those who deflect.