Just hours before scoring an emotional 83-yard touchdown in the second quarter of their game against the New York Giants on Sunday, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin and his wife lost their newborn son.
In a series of Instagram posts, Goodwin and his wife, Morgan Goodwin-Snow, revealed they lost their premature baby after he was born early Sunday morning, months before his original due date in February. After scoring the touchdown during the team’s first win of the season after nine straight losses, Goodwin blew a kiss and pointed to the sky, fell to his knees and made the sign of the cross as his teammates embraced him. Meanwhile, thousands of viewers at home were unaware of the story behind Goodwin’s display.
“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, 26, wrote on Instagram.
Goodwin and his wife, who wed in February 2016, are both accomplished athletes, having both been track and field stars while at the University of Texas at Austin. Goodwin excelled at the long jump, winning two NCAA championships, five Big 12 Conference championships and represented the United States at multiple track competitions, such as the Summer Olympics in 2012.
But Goodwin also tapped into his uncanny speed as a football player for the Texas Longhorns from 2009 to 2012, where, in the 2012 Alamo Bowl against Oregon State, Goodwin scored a 64-year touchdown and caught the game-winning pass, which earned him the Offensive Most Valuable Player trophy for the game.
According to Texas Sports, Goodwin-Snow won the gold medal in the 100m hurdles at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona. She also took home two gold medals at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics, won the 100m Hurdles at the 2013 Big 12 Outdoor Championships, and won the 60m hurdles at the Big 12 Indoor Championship. She was also selected to the 2015 Academic All-Big 12 second team for Track and Field. To be selected, students must keep an average GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Though she had Olympic aspirations, she placed 14th in rainy conditions while trying out for the 2016 United States Olympic team in the 100-meter hurdles.
As students at the University of Texas at Austin, the two crossed each other’s paths a few times at track meets and outings, but they didn’t seriously start talking until people started confusing them as siblings after a friend pointed out their similar appearances.
“I texted him and we just started chatting and stuff like that and started hanging out, and it just happened,” Snow-Goodwin said in a video produced by the Bills.
In September, the couple announced their pregnancy by posting an Instagram photo of them holding an ultrasound picture as they kissed in the background.
“Today, I had to deliver my precious baby boy early this morning due to preterm labor,” Goodwin-Snow, 24, said on Instagram following Sunday’s game. “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.”
While 49ers players celebrated their first victory of the season, Goodwin left early to be with family, according to local media. With the couple’s heartbreaking announcement of their son’s death a short time later, many people expressed their sympathy over social media.
In her Instagram post, Goodwin-Snow remained positive and thanked people for the support they offered throughout her pregnancy.
“I 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,” she wrote. “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.”