In a rare heartbreaking moment in the NFL, on Sunday, after a season full of recriminations for players showing disrespect for the national anthem, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, 26, scored a key touchdown, then knelt in the end zone and offered a skyward kiss, appeared to cross himself, and cradled the ball, all in tribute to his prematurely-born son who died earlier in the morning.
Goodwin had just scored on an 83-yard touchdown pass from C.J. Beathard; he got behind New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins, then ran the last 20 yards to the end zone alone.
Goodwin’s wife Morgan posted a photo of their son’s hand on Instagram. She wrote:
This whole week has taken an emotional toll on my husband and I, Struggling to keep our healthy baby safe in my womb. However, God had other plans for us. Today, I had to deliver my precious baby boy early this morning due to preterm labor. Despite our loss, my hubby kept grinding, scored his son a touchdown & got our first “W” of the season. He had a wonderful game today. appreciate everyone who kept us in their prayers and constantly checked in on us. This was truly and an amazing experience and it was also a tragic experience. But that’s okay because we won’t stop fighting and we won’t give up on what God has in store for us. It’s just important for us to remember that things happen for a reason even though we may question ourselves “why us.” Our faith is strong. I just ask that you let us mourn in peace and ask that you not try and call/blow our phone up.
On Sunday night, Goodwin posted a photo on Instagram of his hand next to his baby son’s hand. The baby died at roughly 4 a.m. on Sunday because of complications that forced him to be born prematurely.
Goodwin wrote, “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. The pain (physically, mentally, & emotionally) that she has endured is unbelieveable.”
Goodwin was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team as one of the three men’s long jumpers; his wife Morgan Goodwin, nee Snow, she was a nine-time All-American hurdler and sprinter at the University of Texas and was the 2012 World Junior Champion in the 100-meter hurdles.