Former Viking Orlando Thomas Dies at 42
The Minnesota Vikings and the NFL are mourning the loss of former Viking Safety, Orlando Thomas who passed away at the age of 42 Sunday night from complications associated with ALS. Thomas led the NFL with 9 interceptions in his rookie year. He started 87 of the 98 games he played for the Vikings, intercepting 22 passes, before retiring after the 2001 season. Thomas revealed that he had ALS in 2007.
A statement released by the Vikings said:
"The Vikings are deeply saddened by the loss of Orlando Thomas. Orlando was an outstanding player for the Vikings for seven years, but more importantly, he represented the franchise and the state of Minnesota with the utmost dignity and class. While his outgoing personality made him a favorite among his teammates, Orlando’s involvement in the community made him a favorite outside of Winter Park.
Since 2007, Orlando fought this disease with tenacity and optimism. Throughout his difficult battle, he refused to allow ALS to define him, instead putting others’ needs in front of his and focusing on making those around him smile.
Orlando will always remain a member of the Minnesota Vikings family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Demetra and their family."
Thomas' former team mates, Randy Moss and Jake Reed took to Twitter in remembrance.