NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Saints All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas has joined with a non-profit group to help relieve $2.3 million in health care debt for Louisiana residents.
Thomas contributed $20,000 to the group RIP Medical Debt, which works with individual donors and organizations to purchase medical debt at steep discounts for people whose bills exceed their ability to pay.
“I hope these families get a little relief in knowing their medical bills have been taken care of during these very difficult times,” Thomas said.
Thomas, who set an NFL record with 149 catches last season, also recently bought lunch for medical personnel at a New Orleans hospital.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic spread into the United States earlier this year, Louisiana has had more than 43,000 cases and at least 2,831 related deaths.
Thomas recently made headlines off the field after joining Patrick Mahomes, Saquon Barkley and other NFL stars in a passionate video message to the league about racial inequality. They also say they want the NFL to publicly condemn racism and admit it was wrong to silence players from peacefully protesting.
The 70-second video was released on social media platforms, and features multiple players asking the NFL to publicly condemn racism and admit it was wrong to silence players from peacefully protesting, which it did several days later.
Thomas, who has led the league in receptions the past two seasons, opens the video with the statement: “It’s been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered.” The players then take turns asking the question, “What if I was George Floyd?"
On the Field
After a historic season, Thomas was named the 2019 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
Thomas was considered alongside Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry.
In 2019, Thomas set an NFL record with 149 receptions, catching 80% of passes to him in both the 2018 and the 2019 seasons.
The last time a wide receiver was named the Offensive Player of the Year was in 1993, and it was Jerry Rice.
Thomas was the first non-quarterback offensive player to sign a contract worth up to $100 million. He signed the contract before the 2019 season began, after having at least 92 receptions, 1,137 yards and five touchdowns in each of his first three seasons.