Demaryius Thomas‘ mom watched him play live in the NFL for the 1st time on Sunday.
Katina Smith was in the stands when Thomas and the Denver Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-16 in the AFC divisional playoffs game.
Smith was sentenced to hard time in federal prison for trafficking narcotics when Thomas was only 11.
She was released from prison last year when President Barack Obama commuted her sentence along with 45 other mostly black non-violent offenders.
Smith entered a Georgia halfway house in November.
Until Sunday She had only watched her son play in NFL games on TV.
“I know she’ll be excited,” Thomas said before the championship game. “It would mean a lot to see her first game live.”
Smith’s 60-day travel restriction was lifted so she could see her son play in person for the 1st time.
After the game, Thomas told reporters that Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning gave Smith the game ball.
“She came out, got to see us win a game, her first time here, her first time seeing me play. It felt great, a really special feeling,” Thomas said.
The Broncos face the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game next Sunday, Jan. 24, in Denver.
— Marquay Baul (@MarquayBaul) January 18, 2016