A San Francisco 49ers wide receiver who looked up to the sky and then buried his head into the field after scoring a touchdown Sunday revealed that his prematurely-born son died just hours before kickoff.
Marquise Goodwin ran the ball 83 yards into the end zone, fell to his knees in prayer and was consoled by his teammates during the emotional celebration. The 49ers went on to defeat the Giants 31-21 to earn their first win of the season.
“Unfortunately, we lost our baby boy due to some complications, and had to prematurely deliver him early this morning around 4 a.m.,” Goodwin wrote on his Instagram after the game next to a picture of the tiny infant’s hand wrapping around a fingertip. “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 unbelievable.
“Please pray for the Goodwin family,” he added.
Goodwin left the team’s locker room quickly after the game to return to his family, NBC Sports reported.
He also posted a video on Instagram of the touchdown and captioned it with two emojis: a prayer gesture and a boy with a halo ring over his head.
“I’m glad that we were able to get him the ball, especially on a day like today for him,” 49ers safety Eric Reid told SFGate. “I have so much respect for him, to come out here and still play, with the hurt that he had in his heart, and to ball out.”
Morgan Goodwin also posted on Instagram that she had to deliver her “precious baby boy early this morning due to pre-term labor.
“Despite our loss, my hubby kept grinding, scored his son a touchdown & got our first “W” of the season,” she added. “He had a wonderful game today. I appreciate everyone who kept us in their prayers and constantly checked in on us.
Reid and Goodwin both kneeled during the national anthem before the game started, along with Giants’ defensive end Olivier Vernon.
“If I need to say it every time ya’ll ask me, this is not about the military, this is not about the flag, this is not about the anthem,” Reid said earlier this year, according to the Washington Post. “I have the utmost respect for the military, for the anthem, for the flag. So I will say that every time ya’ll interview me. This is about systemic oppression that has been rampant in this country for decades on top of decades.”