Obit Thomas Football

This 1999 photo provided by the NFL shows then-Minnesota Vikings football player Orlando Thomas. Thomas died Sunday night, Nov. 9, 2014, in his hometown of Crowley, La., of complications from ALS. He was 42. (AP Photo/NFL Photos)

Orlando Thomas, who played seven seasons in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, died Nov. 10 in his hometown of Crowley, La. He was 42.

Thomas was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), in 2007, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, paralysis, and ultimately, respiratory failure. ALS made headlines this summer through the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised more than $21.7 million for research into the disease.

“If there was ever a test to strip your fight, courage and toughness and make you wallow in self-pity, this would be the disease and yet he was so incredible in his fight and never once made it about him,” Thomas’ agent, Mark Bartelstein, told Bloomberg News.

In his time in the NFL, Thomas had 457 tackles, 22 interceptions and two touchdowns.  Thomas led the league in interceptions in 1995, with nine.

“He represented the franchise and the state of Minnesota with the utmost dignity and class,” the Vikings said in a statement. “While his outgoing personality made him a favorite among his teammates, Orlando’s involvement in the community made him a favorite outside of Winter Park.”