Sometimes in the NFL, it simply goes beyond the game of football.
Newcomer and former San Francisco 49ers tight end Delanie Walker is attempting to prepare for his first season with the Tennessee Titans. Training camp is underway and Walker is doing his best to continue to play the game that he loves, despite knowing that there will be two less of his big fans cheering him on.
Walker’s aunt and uncle, Alice and Bryan Young, were killed in an accident involving a drunk driver six months ago when driving back from the Louisiana Superdome after watching him take part in football’s biggest stage.
It has been incredibly hard on Walker and the rest of his family to come to terms with how and why such a terrible tragedy took place. Yet another step in that process of closure could be closer at hand, though.
Nechole Thomas, a 26-year old female, has been arrested on four separate charges — two counts of vehicular homicide, one count of driving while intoxicated and one count of reckless operation of a motor vehicle.
There is an expected plea bargain to be reached when Thomas appears in front of the judge in the St. Charles Parish District just outside of the city of New Orleans.
Walker has already used this event for the betterment of his peers. In June, he appeared before the rookie symposium and told his story, also explaining why he has gotten involved in M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).
“I’ve learned a lot just being a part of M.A.D.D., especially the reasons why my auntie and uncle died,” Walker explained to FOX Sports. “I had to get into it and understand what I was doing. If I understand it, I can spread that message a little better.”
The class and maturity of Walker cannot be overstated, especially under such horrific circumstances. Hopefully, regardless of the outcome of the case, he can continue to help lead his peers in the right direction. The Titans surely got their hands on not only a great athlete but an inspiring individual.