Derrick Thomas Jr. hosts a comedy charity event on the anniversary of his father’s death for charity to raise money for the Third & Long Foundation.
Twenty-two years have passed since the tragic day Chiefs Kingdom received the news that Derrick Thomas was dead. A family man, humanitarian and one of the greatest pass throwers to ever play football at any level, Thomas’ passing left a void that still lingers today. That’s why much of the work he was passionate about off the pitch continues to impact the lives of so many.
Derrick Thomas Jr. is inspired to carry on his father’s legacy of the same civic spirit, and he does so through the gift of laughter. See you on Tuesday February 8 at Improvisation at KC, Thomas Jr. hosts “A Night of Laughs: In Honor of Derrick Thomas“.
According to Thomas Jr. who recently spoke to Arrowhead Addict about the event, the idea of having a night of laughs to commemorate his dad provided an interesting twist that made sense with how much his dad loved to laugh.
“The idea for this event came from thinking about ways to celebrate my dad,” said Thomas Jr. “I thought a lot about things that I remembered him really enjoying doing, and one of them was going to comedic events. So I thought laughing was way better than crying, and it just made sense to celebrate it in such a joyful way because I know he would have loved it personally.
Despite his intense on-court demeanor (and resulting production), Thomas was actually a hilarious father and teammate, according to his son.
“My dad was a hilarious guy! I’ll never forget he could cut the tension in any room and put a smile on anyone’s face,” he says. “That’s one thing I miss the most about my dad. Being around him always meant everyone had a sincere smile and a good time. My mom and dad would often have contests to see who knew the funniest comedians. They really enjoyed laughing together.
The benefits benefit the Third and long foundationa non-profit organization started by Chiefs legends like DT, Otis Taylorand Neil Smith created to “dismiss” illiteracy in the greater Kansas City area. Thomas Jr. adds that this is the oldest foundation of any NFL player.
“Having an event like this to celebrate my father’s legacy is one that I will always be proud to host,” says Thomas Jr. “It’s the beginning of being able to celebrate the man my father was to. the anniversary of his passing, instead of crying. It gives me a reason to start looking forward to celebrating my dad every year and not crying anymore.
Thomas was honored as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his incredible production on the field and his humanitarian efforts off it. He was invited to 9 Pro Bowls and was a three-time All-Pro first-team and second-team member. With 126.5 career sacks, he is the Chiefs’ all-time leading sack and his number 58 was retired in 2009.