Demaryius Thomas played in front of his mother for first time

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After the Broncos took a knee to end Sunday’s 23-16 victory, quarterback Peyton Manning handed the ball to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas along with a message.

The message was that Thomas should give the game ball to his mother, who was seeing him play in person for the first time. Katina Smith was released from prison in November after having her sentence for a nonviolent drug offense commuted after 16 years of time behind bars. She was barred from traveling for 60 days, which made Sunday’s game the first she could attend.

Thomas did what Manning told him to do after telling reporters how it felt to finally play in front of his mom.

“It’s very special,” Thomas said, via “She came out, got to see us win a game, her first time here, her first time seeing me play. It felt great, a really special feeling. … Just excited she was here for her first game. The fact that we came out with a win made it even better.”

Thomas had four catches for 40 yards, passing Rod Smith for the most catches in Broncos postseason history, and a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter to help ensure that his mother saw a winner her first time out.

45 responses to “Demaryius Thomas played in front of his mother for first time

  1. 16 years for a non-violent offense? The average sentence for murder is seven years. And her sentence was commuted but she couldn’t travel for two months? They just can’t keep their fingers out of your hair. Congratulations on your release Ms. Smith, I hope you get to enjoy all that life has to offer.

  2. At first, this was a “feel-good” story, though I wondered why his mother had never seen him play…. it kind of took some of that heart-warming away to learn it’s because SHE WAS IN PRISON!!!!!

    By the way, how much drugs must someone have had, to get SIXTEEN YEARS in the clink????

  3. purplengold says:
    Jan 18, 2016 7:50 AM

    16 years for a non-violent offense? The average sentence for murder is seven years. And her sentence was commuted but she couldn’t travel for two months? They just can’t keep their fingers out of your hair. Congratulations on your release Ms. Smith, I hope you get to enjoy all that life has to offer.


    According to the ESPN story on Thomas, the original sentence (in 2000) was for 294 months (24 years and 6 months) plus 10 years of supervised release; the prison term was reduced to 10 years in 2008. The commutation only ended the prison term early; the supervised release is still intact.

    I’d imagine that the 2 months non-travel could be part of the supervised release condition.

  4. A tale of two NFLs. For anyone who doesn’t believe there is institutional racism in this country take heed of this story. Ms. Thomas did 16 years behind bars for dealing drugs. Sean Payton got caught stealing narcotics(prescription heroin) from a team facility and he’s still an NFL head coach. Every trainer in the NFL got caught transporting narcotics across state lines without prescriptions, and no one did a day behind bars……..

  5. DT, good guy, good player…. Not his fault that he was born to that family. I’m happy for him, let him enjoy it. It’s his Mom for Petes sake.

  6. This is for people on here who don’t have a clue about surviving. She probably dealt drugs to put food in her family stomach and A roof over there heads. For some of you going to say there others ways. No for a lot of people there is no other way.

  7. I don’t care what neighborhood you grew up in, there is always a choice to make. You can become a fry cook at McDonald’s or check bags at Walmart, it doesn’t have to come down to having to sell drugs to put food in the table.

  8. Some of you believe their out to believe these long jail times for petty drug offenders/dealers. I don’t need to call that principle morally misguided in order to call it terribly inefficient for society as a whole. On the AGGREGATE (not 100%, only a fool would believe, expect or demand that), if you take low-scale drug offenders that are in prison and reshuffle their socioeconomic environment through a combination of opportunity, institutional support, or subsidized relocation, you will get societally functional people AND it will have been CHEAPER THAN THE PRISON SYSTEM. You don’t have to like or respect people or their actions in order to view it as the better investment to make.

  9. America has more people in prison than any other nation in the world. By far. Most of them people of color and most of them for non-violent drug offenses. The War on Drugs has been an unmitigated disaster from start to finish. Completely ineffective, inhumane, and misguided. If not racially motivated, it at least punishes those on the lower end of the economic ladder more than any other. Rich people hire lawyers and never do time. Poor people go to prison – for sometimes decades – for the exact same crime. We all know who the folks in jail are and who the Affluenza people are.

    God bless you DT and Mom. America is going to get this right one day. Hopefully soon.

  10. I’m really trying to hate Manning, but he keeps doing these classy things. There are stories of him buying pizzas for fellow students camping out overnight to buy season tickets at Tennessee, writing notes to opposing players upon their retirement, numerous charities, and now this story. Great player and a class act.

  11. this “war on drugs” disproportionately has impacted only a certain segment of our society while the people who allow the metric tons into our country walk away scott free…you can’t find me one drug dealer in a low income neighborhood that knows how to get a ship through customs or a submarine navigated safely through a heavily guarded port…go ahead and name one.

  12. Sorry, but there are about 6 billion other people in the world worthy of recognition ahead of said cocaine drug ring participant. Sorry you didn’t get to see your son play. Wait, no, no I’m not sorry at all. You helped sell COCAINE… Wonder how many lives were ruined because of what she participated in.


  13. As far as I am concerned, his mother paid what she owed society. Until proven otherwise, his mother deserves a second chance at life and an opportunity to change. Perhaps she will help others along the way. That is what we can hope for. No one should be condemned for a lifetime over a crime that is not murder, rape or child molestation.

  14. 16 years for a non-violent offense. What a fantastic use of our money.

    For everyone saying this was appropriate, you pay the cops/jail/court bill next time. Let those of us who have more sense keep our tax dollars.

  15. warrensip says:
    Jan 18, 2016 10:42 AM

    Yes because McD’s and Walmart pay wages you can’t even live on yourself, never mind feed your children also.
    That’s why you get an education. If whatever jobs you land still don’t pay the way, don’t have kids. It’s called “responsibility”. He’s 25 now so was around 9 when she dealt drugs and left him parentless.

  16. That is disgusting that the court system would put her in jail for 16 yrs for a non violent offense…..the affluenza kid got probation for killing 4 people, 3 who were good Samaritans and stopped to help a women who had broken down on the side of the road….justice is only for the poor….our criminal justice system needs to be revamped, its heartbreaking to think of how many more people are in similar situations…..

  17. For all of you making idiotic statements guess what? She has a son in the NFL, you don’t. Good for you Mom and Demaryius. I can’t imagine, for whatever reason, a parent not being able to see their son play ball. For the idiots on here just pray to god it never happens to you.

  18. Please keep in mind that the reason Demaryius’s mother received such a long sentence is because she wouldn’t testify against her own mother (his grandmother) who was actually the real drug dealer.

  19. @ stopdk12 says:

    “non violent drug offense”… there’s no such thing.

    Seriously? Even the horse you rode in on is given you the “what the @#$% did you just say” look. What an inept response to a real life story illustrating somebody taking the higher and more difficult road.

    Demayrius’ life is one of perseverance, hard work, and keeping his head right even when he didn’t have that example growing up. His Mother was likely doing what she could to keep things going given her situation. Nobody has to agree with what she did, but walk a mile in her shoes first before passing judgement, and she was very likely doing what she felt she HAD to do.

    Thomas’ story is a true hero’s journey. Separation, initiation, and return – one for the likes of Joseph Campbell, and he is the better person for it. He has all the resources needed to take care of himself and his family, and God bless him and his family. He is an outstanding football player, and even a better person.

  20. By the way, how much drugs must someone have had, to get SIXTEEN YEARS in the clink????
    Sad story Her mother (Thomas’ ) grandmother was a “cooker” if I remember correctly. Sad story. Thomas was raised by his aunt and uncle because both his mother and grandmother were put in prison when he was 11 years old. Kudos to Thomas’ aunt and uncle for stepping in. Demaryius is a good, humble guy.

  21. How can anyone not like the story of a mother seeing her son play a game after 16 years? I am sure she is a less than perfect mother, but we are all less than perfect parents. As a Steeler fan, congrats to the family, and the Manning family continue to show themselves as the elite of the NFL.

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