Mom of Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Who Was Pardoned by Obama Will Attend Her 1st NFL Game

Demaryius Thomas’ mother, Katina Smith, will go to her first NFL game after spending 15 years in prison for drug trafficking.

Demaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos
Demaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Update: 1/17/16 at 12:37pm. ESPN’s NFL Countdown reports that Demaryius Thomas’ mother will be in the stands in Denver today to see her son play for the first time in his professional football career. After her release from a halfway house in Atlanta, Katina Smith was allowed to travel to see the Broncos take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in today’s NFL playoff game which will be broadcast by CBS.  


Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas’ mother, Katina Smith, has never seen her son play professional football in person.

In 1999, when Thomas was only 11 years old, Smith and her mother, Minnie Pearl, were arrested for narcotics trafficking, ESPN reports. Smith received 18 years and her mother, Thomas’ grandmother, was sentenced to life in prison.

According to ESPN, President Barack Obama in July 2015 commuted Smith’s sentence, along with those of 45 other nonviolent drug offenders who had served a majority of their time in what would now be considered unfairly harsh punishments.

Thomas’ hope is that the wait might be over and that his mother, barring any setbacks, will be able to finally see him play Sunday in the AFC divisional-round game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver.

“That’s what we’re working on,” Thomas told ESPN Wednesday. “Hopefully. That’s the goal, though.”

According to the sports site, after Smith’s sentence was commuted, “she was released from prison, she went to a halfway house in Georgia, Thomas’ home state. Smith was cleared to leave the halfway house in November, and Thomas has said she has been staying with relatives.”

Thomas believed that his mother would be able to see him play a game before Thanksgiving, but Smith was required to wait 60 days before she could leave the state.

“Yeah, she can travel now, so we’re working on that,” Thomas told ESPN. “It would mean a lot. It would be her first game. I would be excited. I know she’ll be excited. It would mean to see her first game live.”