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Delanie Walker feels responsible for family DUI deaths

2013 CMT Music Awards - Red Carpet Getty Images

Titans tight end Delanie Walker lost his aunt and his uncle in a car wreck that resulted in drunk-driving charges against Nechole Thomas.

But before he could become a crusader against the combination of alcohol and cars, he had to first change himself.

“When I speak to people, I tell them I’ve done it. I drank and drove,” Walker told Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. “Now that I look back at it, I feel that I was the person who killed my auntie and uncle. I always tell people that.

“I looked at myself and said, ‘How can I say I’m mad at this lady when I do the same thing?’ I had to change myself.”

Thomas was in court Wednesday, and was given a continuance on the two charges of vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated. But Walker’s priority now is educating his fellow players, and trying to change a culture where DUIs are more accepted than they should be.

And in his mind, that means convincing his fellow players that they are not, in fact, invincible.

“Cats want to drive their own cars,” Walker said. “They want to look fancy. We all want to look like we’re doing big things. If that takes us to drive our cars, get drunk and show off at the club, that’s what they do. I’ve done it before. That’s one thing we’ve got to stop. If you’ve got a driver, it looks better if you’re jumping out of the passenger side with a chauffeur opening the door for you saying, ‘Yes sir.’

“It’s going to be a while. It’s not going to change overnight. But hopefully everybody will start to understand we’ve got to be role models around here.”

The progress might be slow, but the only way it can be eventual is for more players to adopt Walker’s philosophy.

And he’s willing to keep working toward that goal.

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27 Responses to “Delanie Walker feels responsible for family DUI deaths”
  1. footballradioshow says: Aug 21, 2013 5:54 PM

    Delanie definitely seems like a good dude. These dudes got cash, book a car service, it’s that simple

  2. onearmsteven says: Aug 21, 2013 5:55 PM

    good stuff. keep it up delanie

  3. mycm1127 says: Aug 21, 2013 5:58 PM

    Perfectly said by Walker

  4. gsiggins says: Aug 21, 2013 6:08 PM

    Class act, that Delanie Walker. We’ll miss you in SF, and best of luck out in Nashville.

  5. jakec4 says: Aug 21, 2013 6:10 PM

    Good luck to you, sir. Hope you find some peace with your loss.

  6. michaeljacksonisback says: Aug 21, 2013 6:23 PM

    Good stuff man! Hope you have a healthy, successful season sir! A Rams fan

  7. nationalmediacansuckit says: Aug 21, 2013 6:34 PM

    I never knew much about this guy until now, but I like him. He gets it.

  8. u4iadman says: Aug 21, 2013 6:37 PM

    Total class act. Welcome addition to any NFL team.

  9. canadianvikingfaniii says: Aug 21, 2013 6:47 PM

    What a classy guy. I really wish PFT would have more articles like this, reading about murder, drugs, fights, etc. all the time isn’t fair to the good people of the NFL, and it is not fun to read constantly.

    Side note: Don’t the NFL teams provide their players with driver services in the event they are out drinking and partying? It amazes me that so many would refuse to use them…

  10. therealraider says: Aug 21, 2013 7:11 PM

    With the Raiders letting Zach Miller and Brandon Myers go in the last couple of years.. I was hoping they would make a run at Walker.. local guy, good ethics, solid player.

  11. aaroncurryisbust says: Aug 21, 2013 7:18 PM

    Glad to see him reform himself. Same with Cromartie widening up about his finances.

  12. murtdurt says: Aug 21, 2013 7:20 PM

    All class!

  13. fdugrad says: Aug 21, 2013 7:21 PM

    I certainly wish him well.

  14. sourdoughsam says: Aug 21, 2013 7:55 PM

    Not a Niner anymore but still one of my favorite players in the league. The NFL could use more Delanie Walkers.

  15. briggy says: Aug 21, 2013 8:21 PM

    Indeed, it would be very nice to see more players handle themselves this way. Well said, Mr. Walker!

  16. shayeezy says: Aug 21, 2013 8:32 PM

    became a fan of this guy for his play on the field, and this just cements him as one of my favorites in the league.

  17. hkdaddyo says: Aug 21, 2013 8:56 PM

    Kudos to the classy Delanie Walker. Right on!

  18. romoscollarbone says: Aug 21, 2013 9:26 PM

    Best of luck. Sad it takes tragedy to inspire change. I’m equally as culpable I suppose, haven’t drank drive in quite a few years, but nevertheless it’s a real and present danger that we needn’t tolerate.

  19. bigal5888 says: Aug 21, 2013 9:53 PM

    I’m with everyone else on here. I don’t know much about him, but it is refreshing to hear he recognizes the culture but is trying to do something to change it. He is a top notch guy in my book.

  20. olcap says: Aug 21, 2013 9:58 PM

    Class act all the way. Wish his attitude could rub off on the others.

  21. buckjim says: Aug 21, 2013 11:54 PM

    Is it the same two idiots giving thumbs down to positive feedback from everyone.

  22. dirtysouthniner says: Aug 22, 2013 12:48 AM

    Great dude..change yourself before you preach.. we will miss u in sf

  23. granadafan says: Aug 22, 2013 1:00 AM

    The love of my life in college was killed by a drunk driver so I can sympathize with Delanie Walker when he talks about his deaths of his Aunt and Uncle (RIP). I’m really glad he’s speaking out. If he can reach just one player or regular dude from drinking and driving then he’s doing great work. Hopefully some of the young guys listen to him.

  24. godofwine330 says: Aug 22, 2013 1:20 AM

    We’ve all done it. Drove after drinking. We think we can make it. We don’t think we are as bad as we are. They should sell BAC checkers at every store because I’d be curious the times where I thought that I was good turns out to be the night I didn’t realize that I was twice the state limit…or you…or the other guy.

    Last time I was at a party though I slept in the car for an hour and a half before coming home.

  25. jayniner says: Aug 22, 2013 1:29 AM

    What an amazing guy!

    In the face of so much adversity in his life, Delanie takes the time to educate others so they don’t experience the same tragedy. This is the kind of player that truly defines what a role model is and professional sports would be better off to use him in that capacity.

    This is one 49ers fan that owns a Delanie Walker jersey and will be proudly wearing it all season long!

  26. sonnyjz says: Aug 22, 2013 1:46 AM

    Word

  27. hess97 says: Aug 22, 2013 2:17 AM

    Best wishes Delanie.

    While we true diehard niner fans were grieving BS XLVII….Delanie was going through something much much worse, which put things in perspective.

    We enjoyed watching DWalk while he was here.

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