Orlando Thomas

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Orlando Thomas
No. 42
Position: Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1972-10-21)October 21, 1972
Place of birth: Crowley, Louisiana
Date of death: November 9, 2014(2014-11-09) (aged 42)
Place of death: Crowley, Louisiana
Career information
College: Southwestern Louisiana
NFL Draft: 1995 / Round: 2 / Pick: 42
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • All-Pro (1995)
  • Led NFL in interceptions in 1995 with 9
Career NFL statistics
Tackles: 457
Interceptions: 22
Touchdowns: 2
Player stats at NFL.com

Orlando Thomas (October 21, 1972 – November 9, 2014) was an American football defensive back who played in the National Football League (NFL) from 1995 until 2001. He played his entire career with the Minnesota Vikings.


Thomas stood 6-1 and weighed 225 pounds during his playing career. He was a second-round draft pick out of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) in 1995. He started 87 of 98 games for the Vikings, intercepting 22 passes, including 9 during his rookie season. He retired following the 2001 season.

On June 29, 1997, he was arrested in his hometown of Crowley, Louisiana and charged with inciting a riot and two counts of disturbing the peace. The charges were reduced to one count of disturbing the peace, and Thomas pleaded no contest. He was ordered to pay a $100 fine, pay court costs, and perform 50 hours of community service.

Thomas married his wife Demetra on February 27, 1998, only two months after their first date and five months after first meeting at Cheese Car Wash in north Minneapolis. They have two children, Alexis and Orlando Jr. Demetra has a child from a previous relationship.

In 1999, Thomas was charged after allegedly assaulting his wife Demetra. He later pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge of simple battery.[1]

Thomas revealed in June 2007 that he was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).[2] On October 28, 2009, it was reported on the Minnesota Vikings' website that Thomas had died,[3] but the organization withdrew the report and apologized to Thomas and his family after it proved to be false.[4] Thomas died of complications from ALS on November 9, 2014.[5]


  1. ^ "CBS News". April 18, 1999. 
  2. ^ "Star Tribune". 
  3. ^ "NBC Sports". 
  4. ^ "Star Tribune". 
  5. ^ Schefter, Adam. "Former Viking Orlando Thomas dies". ESPN.