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Bears’ J.T. Thomas steps in as a prom date

J.T. Thomas AP

With the lockout bringing the NFL world to a screeching halt, we’ve seen a number of stories this morning about what players are doing with their time off. David Bruton of the Broncos is working as a substitute teacher. Tennessee’s Jamie Harper is crowded into a three-bedroom trailer with nine family members.

And now we have the feel-good story of the day: Bears rookie J.T. Thomas has served as the date to a school dance to a girl who’s confined to a wheelchair.

The girl, 14-year-old Joslyn Levell, lives in Morgantown, West Virginia, where Thomas played his college football. Thomas met her because she rides the same bus as his brother, who is autistic, and on Friday Thomas escorted her to her end-of-school-year formal dance Friday.

I’m not used to the attention, but I like it,” Levell told Steve Wyche of NFL.com. “It’s been amazing. I can’t wait to hear what everybody has to say.”

Thomas has been the subject of a lot of media attention since the nice gesture became public, but he says he’s not particularly interested in that.

“This was Joslyn’s night,” Thomas said. “It wasn’t about me.”

But it was a good example of an NFL player finding something good to do with his time off.

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33 Responses to “Bears’ J.T. Thomas steps in as a prom date”
  1. Andy says: May 23, 2011 10:59 AM

    Absolutely beautiful. This made my day.

  2. dawkinseffect says: May 23, 2011 11:01 AM

    Glad to see this have its own story page

  3. aschwartz2011 says: May 23, 2011 11:06 AM

    Cue the Big Ben jokes in….3…2…1….

    but seriously, this is a great story. The NFL needs more guys like this on the field.

  4. yorks1cancer says: May 23, 2011 11:56 AM

    A man’s Pro!

    You rock and I hope Joslyn had a night of her life!

    Wish this was the norm for a human interest/NFL story

  5. dgforreal says: May 23, 2011 11:59 AM

    Story literally made my heart swell.

    Good on this young man.

  6. marinephinfan says: May 23, 2011 12:02 PM

    I want to believe that there are more guys like Thomas and less guys like Vick, if the media reported more on these types of things I think we’d find it to be fact.

  7. jlb10 says: May 23, 2011 12:07 PM

    great story! great young man!

    pft and the rest of the media world should report more stories like this

  8. mswravens says: May 23, 2011 12:26 PM

    Job well done! Very nice & inspiring story! Now THAT’S a pro athlete who can proudly claim to be a role model!!!

  9. homelanddefense says: May 23, 2011 12:36 PM

    great story! I hope the good karma comes back around for him.

  10. bunjy96 says: May 23, 2011 12:36 PM

    Mike,

    Thanks for giving this story the space it needed.

    Would appreciate more of this type.

  11. bucsballer says: May 23, 2011 12:37 PM

    Class act young fellow

  12. mushroomcloudmofo says: May 23, 2011 12:49 PM

    I was going to make an off-color joke, but couldn’t bring myself to do it.

    What a class act, and a great story.

  13. bsmb says: May 23, 2011 12:53 PM

    Classy man. He can not only be a role model for kids but also a role model for other players.

  14. smalltownqb says: May 23, 2011 12:57 PM

    My 7-year old son is about to get a poster on his wall of an NFL player he can be proud of.

  15. Deb says: May 23, 2011 1:00 PM

    Great, heartwarming story. And I agree with other commenters that it would be nice to get more like it. Players throughout the NFL have started charitable foundations, work with underpriviledged kids, raise money for good causes, and spend their time in worthwhile pursuits. But you guys write more about the minority who make nutty comments, go into debt over bling, or get arrested.

    Since you love the sport, please focus attention on the many positive stories of NFL players. Yes, the negative stories draw more comments and probably more clicks, which is a sad commentary on our society. But you can still post the positive stuff, too. Thanks.

  16. andyreidisfat says: May 23, 2011 1:00 PM

    Just another example of how the players are trying to get public opinion on their side …. oh .. wait never mind.

    Anywho good for the player. Better for the kid.

  17. PurpleRaid18 says: May 23, 2011 1:03 PM

    Great Story! That young man is a class act. I wish him all the best in his NFL career as well, even if he is a division rival.

  18. anthonioustheprettygood says: May 23, 2011 1:12 PM

    As a Lions fan, I hate the Bears a little less now. This guy is a true role model. Excellent story.

  19. anthonioustheprettygood says: May 23, 2011 1:12 PM

    As a Lions fan, I hate the Bears a little less now. This guy is a true role model. Excellent story.

  20. hit2hurt says: May 23, 2011 1:38 PM

    Class act!!!

  21. harleyrider1973 says: May 23, 2011 1:45 PM

    Joslyn will have a great story to tell for the rest of her life.

  22. bigd9484 says: May 23, 2011 1:47 PM

    Hopefully he didn’t pull a favre/chumura and attend the after party :)

  23. jlb10 says: May 23, 2011 1:53 PM

    bsmb says: May 23, 2011 12:53 PM

    Classy man. He can not only be a role model for kids but also a role model for other players.

    _____________________

    how about a role model for other ADULTS?

  24. kevinfromphilly says: May 23, 2011 1:53 PM

    Maybe it’s a dumb question, but why didn’t his little brother take her? I mean, it’s certainly a nice gesture on J.T.’s part, but wouldn’t it be more appropriate for him to drive the two kids and be the chaperone?

  25. justanotherdummy says: May 23, 2011 2:02 PM

    Good for him taking some time to brighten somebody else’s life. Well done young man. I hope the young lady had the time of her life.

  26. finfanjim says: May 23, 2011 2:16 PM

    Bears fans should be proud to have this kid. I am a J.T. Thomas fan now!

  27. cam3420 says: May 23, 2011 2:16 PM

    very humble too doesnt want any kinda credit it was all for joslyn, and i love how a young rookie is a better person than pretty much every Vet in the league

  28. unclehilroy says: May 23, 2011 2:25 PM

    kevinfromphilly says:
    May 23, 2011 1:53 PM
    Maybe it’s a dumb question, but why didn’t his little brother take her? I mean, it’s certainly a nice gesture on J.T.’s part, but wouldn’t it be more appropriate for him to drive the two kids and be the chaperone?
    ___________________________

    Because his brother is 7.

  29. CKL says: May 23, 2011 2:40 PM

    I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t been said better by others but I just wanted to increase the clicks on the story and amount of comments so if those serve as encouragement to seek more of these types of stories, consider yourself encouraged.
    I think it’s great that a young man of this age was mature enough to do this type of thing.

  30. wvuandsteelers says: May 23, 2011 3:43 PM

    Love to see an ‘Eer get some good press!!

  31. finsbooyah says: May 23, 2011 3:56 PM

    This is the best part : “This was Joslyn’s night,” Thomas said. “It wasn’t about me.”

    Thomas is a rookie who hasn’t let the his accomplishments on the football field turn him into an entitled pos. Instead he used his status in the Morgantown community to improve some young girl’s life if only for one night.

    I’ll be rooting for Thomas throughout his career (unless he plays against Miami of course).

  32. granadafan says: May 23, 2011 5:10 PM

    “This was Joslyn’s night,” Thomas said. “It wasn’t about me.”
    ————————————————————————————

    Well said, Mr. Thomas. Well said.

  33. wafflestomp says: May 23, 2011 5:17 PM

    Very classy individual.
    This was a great story to read.

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