San Francisco 49ers star Marquise Goodwin has provided one of the the most moving sporting moments of the year, after scoring an 83-yard touchdown just hours after the death of his son.
It was also probably the biggest play of the season for the struggling 49ers, helping them to a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants, their first win of the season.
Goodwin had Giants’ corner Janoris Jenkins beat on the play in the second quarter of the game, and ran the last 20 or so yards to the end zone alone.
Before he crossed the goal line, Goodwin blew a kiss skyward, and once he was in the end zone, he dropped to one knee, and then two.
He appeared to cross himself and then cradled the ball.
It was an emotional moment.
On Sunday night, Goodwin revealed just why he responded the way he did to his first touchdown as a member of the 49ers.
The 26-year-old posted this heartbreaking photo on Instagram:
He wrote, in part, that he and his wife, Morgan, lost their baby on Sunday morning, around 4 a.m. due to complications; he had to be delivered prematurely.
“Although we are hurt, I am grateful for the experience and grateful that God blessed me with a wife as courageous and resilient as Morgan,” Goodwin wrote.
“The pain (physically, mentally, & emotionally) that she has endured is unbelieveable.”
Goodwin is one of the fastest players in the NFL, a great sprinter and member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team; he was one of three men’s long jumpers representing the country. Morgan Goodwin, nee Snow, is an accomplished athlete in her own right.
At the University of Texas, where the two met, she was a nine-time All-American hurdler and sprinter, and was the 2012 World Junior Champion in the 100-meter hurdles.
Morgan revealed the couple were expecting in mid-September, writing at the time that she was in her second trimester and the baby was due in 2018, though her exact due date was unclear.
Either way, it’s almost unimaginable that Marquise was on the field on Sunday, just hours after the couple’s tragedy.
Goodwin is the second NFL player in the past few weeks to lose a baby prematurely. Buffalo’s Logan Thomas and his wife also suffered a similar loss in October.