Another NFL player dies at the young age of 42
The National Football League finds itself in the middle of consistent controversy while the public slowly learns the results of long-term physical damage that may come from being on the field and using your body as a human crash test dummy. Thousands of former players are being affected by various physical ailments, including brain damage, and many of them are dying at very early ages.
Former Minnesota Vikings safety Orlando Thomas was once a beast on the field, earning a spot on the All-Pro team during his rookie year in 1995. Now, the former superstar is dead at the age of 42, dying of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His agent, Mark Bartelstein said this to ESPN:
“Nobody’s ever fought a battle like Orlando fought, with so much dignity—I never saw anything like it,” Bartelstein said. “It’s just incredible. He never had a sense of self pity, never felt sorry for himself, he was always worried about everyone else. He was just the most incredible person I’ve ever been around.”
It’s not yet clear exactly what caused this young man to die, but there are far too many former NFL athletes dying at an early age. A recent $100 million dollar project was started at Harvard University after it was determined that NFL players have an average lifespan that is roughly 20 years younger than the typical American. For these men to be among the strongest, fittest physical specimens on the planet, it can only be described as disturbing that their lives end up being so short.
The Vikings also released a statement about Thomas’ death:
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.
We at BOSS Sports send our condolences to the family as well. We also encourage other brothers to take a second to consider the consequences of being deeply committed to this sport. Pay attention to the results of health studies so you can know what you’re getting into when you let your sons play football. Even President Obama once stated that he would not allow his son to play the game. The decision is personal, but one worth thinking about.
READ MORE ia Former Vikings Safety Orlando Thomas Dies at Age 42 After Battle with ALS | Bleacher Report.
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