What seemed to start as an ugly Internet rumor became a tragic reality Thursday night when reports confirmed that former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was found dead in his home in Roswell, Georgia. He was just 33.
Thomas’s first cousin LaTonya Bonseigneur, told The Associated Press that the family believes he died from a seizure.
“He had been suffering from seizures for over a year, and we believe he had a seizure when he was showering,” Bonseigneur said Friday. “We’re not sure when he died. We just spoke with him yesterday.”
Thomas, who retired after last season, was beloved in Denver where he spent eight of his illustrious ten seasons in the NFL. He was a four-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl Champion. More importantly, he was a generous, kind person who was a favorite of teammates, fans, and media alike.
We are devastated and completely heartbroken.— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 10, 2021
Demaryius' humility, warmth, kindness and infectious smile will always be remembered by those who knew him and loved him. pic.twitter.com/0GLZIr6UP3
The outpouring of love from former teammates has been powerful and heartbreaking.
Peyton Manning, who played with Thomas for four season in Denver, released a statement:
“D.T. was a better person than he was a player, and he was a Hall of Fame player. That tells you how good of a person he was. He treated my kids like they were his own. He was there for every teammate’s charity event. I texted with D.T. on Tuesday. He was talking about a TD audible we called vs. Arizona in 2014. Absolutely devasted.”
Manning is, of course, not alone in his devastation.
My heart is broken over the death of Demaryius. His humility and kindness outshone his immense talent on the field. His incredible smile will always be with us. May he rest in heavenly light. pic.twitter.com/HeCkP7MZjO— Ed McCaffrey (@87ed) December 10, 2021
Heartbroken 💔 pic.twitter.com/e3EbU0aPeP— D-Ware (@DeMarcusWare) December 10, 2021
Most people saw what Demaryius Thomas could do on the field. Off the field, he was even more special.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) December 10, 2021
These are just some of the videos I still have on my phone that swore I never would delete. Being around little kids was when Demaryius seemed the happiest. pic.twitter.com/E1UIXigpIJ
I’m heart broken. This doesn’t seem real but I’m proud of the man and player DT became. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Bronco Country, we’re hurting. https://t.co/tuAlUyQZ8n pic.twitter.com/jFflDkLJ1t— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) December 10, 2021
Demaryius Thomas’ football feats were incredible, but this is the man I’ll remember: The guy who was kind, always smiling, who was Uncle DT to so many kids, and who was always thoughtful and sincere in our professional relationship. pic.twitter.com/F5q1qDLVEw— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) December 10, 2021
Im so sad to wake up this morning to hear about the passing of my friend Demariyus Thomas. We were all blessed with his humility and positive spirit, and we will all miss him. This photo is from the Hall of Fame this past August, a source of light as always. 🙏 RIP pic.twitter.com/o3hvQN0cRz— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) December 10, 2021