As Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (pictured) plays in this year’s Super Bowl XKVIII Sunday night, his mother, Katina Smith (pictured below), and grandmother, Minnie Pearl Thomas (pictured at bottom), will be rooting for him from a prison cell, according to the New York Post.
The gridiron player’s mother and grandmother are serving lengthy prison sentences at the Federal Correctional Institute of Tallahassee, Fla. Smith is serving a 20-year sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, while Thomas is serving two life sentences with a chance for parole after 40 years.
Smith could have received a shorter sentence if she agreed to accept a plea bargain deal to testify against Thomas.
The mother/daughter duo was arrested back in 1999, when police descended upon Thomas’ Georgia residence. At the time of the incident, Demaryius was 9 years old, and he told the New York Post in a 2012 interview that he remembers officers swarming his home. He also said he had a premonition about the life-changing event, “I told my mother it feels like something is going on and something bad is about to happen,’’ Demaryius recalled. “That was the scariest time.’’
Demaryius wound up moving from place to place until he finally came to settle with an uncle, James Brown, whom he credits for shaping him into the man he has grown up to become today. Brown, a minister, instilled religion in Thomas, even making him an usher at his church.
Although Demaryius says he does not condone the crimes committed by his relatives, he does maintain close ties to both his mom and grandmother. As a matter of fact, Thomas admits to speaking with his mother before every single game that he plays.
Now both women will be watching Thomas play in this year’s Super Bowl from their minimum security facility, and according to Thomas, they are super excited. “There’s no more words to describe the love that I have for him. I’m just proud to be his mom. He has made me the happiest Mom alive, and it’s been a joy being his mother,” Smith told the New York Post.
Demaryius told the women they can expect a visit from him after he’s won the game.