PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Facebook petition aimed at getting a local man with Down syndrome inducted into the North Hills Sports Hall of Fame has fallen short.
In a story first introduced in February, we told the story of David Thomas, who has shown his school spirit along the sidelines at North Hills Senior High School for more than 40 years, rarely ever missing a game.
“He is on that field — no matter what game is being played, we’ve taken him to basketball games,” Cindy Richey said. “He’s always in his red and white.
A Facebook page was started with the intent to raise awareness and gain support for Thomas being inducted into the North Hills Sports Hall of Fame, but it turns out Thomas didn’t make the list.
“We’ve got 1,400 members, more every day, and people are not very happy,” Mike Johnston, who started the Facebook page, said. “Just disappointed. I don’t want to say mad or upset – just disappointed. We look at it as they could have done something for the community to make everyone look good.”
“He’s been received by the community tremendously,” Tom Richey, a supporter of Thomas, said. “Everybody took him under their wing. Nobody teased him – that’s why he deserves to be in there.”
The school district is not affiliated with the Sports Hall of Fame selection committee, but they did give a written statement explaining “the committee has established the selection criteria and process and thoroughly evaluates the contributions made by each nominee to North Hills athletics before selecting each year’s inductees. More than 45 nominees were considered for induction this year.”
Thomas’ supporters say they’re not going to give up.
“I think he’ll be a little bit bummed out,” Tom Richey said, “but we can turn him around and let him know next year is another year.”