San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin was very emotional after his 83 yard touchdown reception vs. the Giants as well as earlier, during the National Anthem. After the game both he and his wife Morgan announced on their individual social media accounts that after a difficult pregnancy, their child was delivered stillborn at 19 weeks.
The couple, who has been together since college, married in 2016. Morgan revealed to People magazine that they want to have several children. They had even started fertility treatments after a miscarriage in 2013. All was going according to plan with this pregnancy until the week prior to the Giants game when complications developed.
Goodwin, in support of his wife missed practice and spent time at home throughout the week which obviously limited his game preparation. The couple rushed to the hospital in the the wee hours of Sunday morning and after they said goodbye to their son, Marquise questioned whether he should leave his wife to play in the game. It was at her urging that he left the hospital to head to the stadium.
Marquise explained how his decision to play evolved:
Honest to god truth, the only reason I made it through the game was because of God, my faith in God. I was mentally and physically not prepared to play in the game. I really didn’t practice the whole week, I was really just going through a lot. Just trying to get my body rested from the week before, and the week before that. Coming into the game, I wasn’t really in it because I had just lost my baby. But my wife, we prayed about it, and I guess she felt that God moved her to let me go play. And she encouraged me, she raised my spirits up and helped me get ready for the game. And that’s what’s so cool about the situation, because of how much my wife encouraged me. I think it speaks more to her character than me. She could have held me back.
Goodwin did not reveal what had happened with everyone. He quietly went to the team hotel to have breakfast before the game without showering or dressing up which is out of character for him. Eric Reid, whom he has been kneeling with during the National Anthem, recognized that something was wrong, approached Goodwin and was told the news. Goodwin told his wide receiver group as well as former teammate Brian Hoyer.
Everyone is affected differently by personal tragedies. Some like to deal with things privately and others publicly. Head coach Kyle Shanahan discussed that he respects either method of coping:
I found out early in the morning on Sunday what had happened, and then I just met him up here and a few of us did and talked to him. He was struggling with it for obvious reasons. He decided to play, which we were very grateful for. I think he did a hell of a job for his wife yesterday being there for her and helped out his family from that aspect, and also helped out his family here too. I think he helped out every side and was pretty impressive yesterday.
[H]e got here, and pastor [team chaplain] Earl [Smith] who worked with him a lot and comforted him a lot did a great job with him. By the time I was able to talk to Marquise, he was hurting, but he was adamant he wanted to play. That's something as a coach you respect. You don't want someone just to tell it to you because that's what you want to hear as a coach. You want someone to tell it to you because they mean it. And you could tell ‘Quise meant it. And he helped us out a lot yesterday too. For a guy to go through that, to have those emotions, to go the whole night before, really not sleeping very much, and to come out there and have some very pivotal plays in that game and make a huge difference, it says a lot about the guy. Regardless whether he played good or bad, the fact that he was out there and tried his hardest and tried to help us was the most important.
Goodwin believes that sharing what has happened to his family has not only helped him deal with the pain and sadness but could help others who have gone through or may go through the same thing. He didn’t realize how many people have gone through it until he opened up publicly. Support from complete strangers and close friends alike surprised him.
Goodwin further explained that he has felt both exultation in scoring the touchdown and getting the first team win as well as devastation in his loss. He adds that his family’s faith will get them through it.
I just felt like it was all God in that situation, was able to score a touchdown and was able to display all the pain I was feeling at the time. It wasn’t something that was planned. You know, I don’t want anybody to go through that, but if you lost something you wanted more than anything, something that you expected because you could see it without seeing it, you would have known how I felt in that situation. And to score a touchdown and ultimately help my team get a win, was a great moment for my life, and it was a moment I’ll remember because I easily could have not gone to the game.
Both Marquise and Morgan are in Texas during the bye week spending time with family. In closing his gave us this message:
Never stop believing. The reward will last longer than the pain. Sometimes life isn’t supposed to work how you want but you will be better from it. God has a plan for everything.