Joe Delaney, a former running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, is making headlines 31 years after an incident in Monroe, Louisiana back in June of 1983.
The backdrop was a hot summer day in the Southern United States. Delaney, who was coming off a two-year stretch with the Chiefs that saw him tally 1,800 total yards and six scores, attempted to avoid the heat by going with some friends to an amusement park.
Once there, Delaney noticed that children were venturing too far into a nearby pond and attempted to warn them of the potential danger. A bit later, he noticed three children off afar struggling with the conditions of the pond. Despite not being able to swim all too well himself, Delaney didn’t hesitate to attempt to save the three kids.
Within minutes, Delaney and the two children were dead. The then 24-year-old man did successfully save one of the children from danger.
Delaney was in the prime of his life. He had three kids of his own and was married. He had a bright future ahead of himself in the NFL and in life in general. He didn’t think of any of this prior to attempting to save those three children who were drowning.
It’s a heroic story that is told every year on the 29th of June. It’s also a story that should never be lost with time. Delaney, a true hero, represented a simpler time when professional athletes weren’t defined by shiny things, huge contracts and off-field incidents.
He is a true hero in every sense of the word.
Check out this stunning documentary on the life and times of Joe Delaney.