There are several topics that readers have brought up many times through the years, yet Ive been loath to air them publicly. However, multiple readers have expressed a similar sentiment today about a clear public figure, so this is about as good a time as Ill have. And before proceeding, I acknowledge and accept pre-emptive criticism that its in questionable taste for me to write about it.
By Derek Donovan
The Kansas City Star
Tonight, NFL Films will premiere a new documentary on Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas, who died after a traffic accident in 2000. Todays Sports Daily has a story that interviews several fans about their fond memories of Thomas.
I think the article is totally inappropriate, said one caller who declined to give her name, but claimed to be a relative of one of the five women who fathered Thomas seven children.
He might have been a star on the field, said another caller, but he was a disgrace off the field.
Now, I never met Thomas and I certainly dont think people can generally be reductively classified as good or bad.
But it is also true from The Stars own reporting in the past that Thomas was a complicated figure. Witnesses to the 2000 highway crash that ultimately resulted in his death reported he was traveling at a high rate of speed and weaving in and out of traffic on snow-covered roads. Passenger Michael D. Tellis died on the scene as well.
Missouri lawmakers also debated naming a section of highway after Thomas in the spring of 2000, with then-Sen. Peter Kinder citing the objections above.
We all know the old saying: Never speak ill of the dead. But does todays story inappropriately gloss over some of the negative aspects of Thomas life? I think you can argue that position.