Boy did I luck out that I was in a NyQuil coma during the last 24 hours. Otherwise I probably would have been part of the chain of outlets to report that former Vikings safety Orlando Thomas had died… when he had not.
Vikings.com first reported his death on Wednesday and the news was repeated by many outlets including Access Vikings, Pro Football Talk, and ESPN. Thomas’ former teammate, Jake Reed, then headed up the efforts to dispute the report via his twitter account.
Then Thomas’ agent was able to confirm that the report was false, and that Orlando Thomas was indeed alive. Here is the official apology from the Vikings:
Late this afternoon, vikings.com reported information that was erroneously given to the organization by an individual at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Orlando Thomas’ alma mater) stating that former Vikings player Orlando Thomas had passed away from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The Vikings have now learned that Orlando, who does have ALS, has not passed away. We are thankful that this report was inaccurate and he and his family continue to be in our thoughts.
We regret the inaccurate report and send our sincere apologies to Orlando and his family.