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Like many parents who work outside of the home, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, Marquise Goodwin, had a decision to make. As the NFL gears up for the forthcoming season, Goodwin announced that he will be opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.

In a 12-minute long video and complimentary Instagram post, the 29-year-old explained that his top priority is protecting his wife, Morgan, and their five-month-old daughter from the potentially deadly novel coronavirus, adding that playing football this season poses too much of a risk.

Prior to welcoming their baby girl in February, Marquise and Morgan experienced two pregnancy losses and each time, football kept Marquise from being there for his wife in the capacity that he desired to be.

“Three years ago, I made a decision that affected my whole life. I chose to leave my wife at the hospital after prematurely birthing our first baby boy (due to incompetent cervix) which resulted in a fatality, to play in a football game. I felt like I had to prove to my coaches and new team that I was dedicated to winning and I wouldn’t let anything keep me from the goal, not even my family,” he explained.

Just one year later, the young couple suffered a second loss.

“The following year in the same month, same week, our lives took another traumatic turn. Two weeks after learning her abdominal cerclage was failing, my wife called me shortly after we landed and arrived to our team hotel in Tampa, Florida to inform me she was having painful contractions, and my grandma (who flew up to help take care of Morgan while I would go to work and away games) had to rush her to the emergency room,” Marquise went on. “Here we are again in the same predicament as a year ago, except I was almost 3,000 miles away this time. Anxiety weighed heavily on me because I once again had to decide – will I choose to play a game again like everyone may expect me to, or do I go home and tend to my ailing wife? After much prayer and discussion, I told our team GM that I absolutely had to fly back and take care of my wife, in an attempt to honor my wedding vows that I made to both her, myself, and God.”

Now that the couple has welcomed their rainbow baby, Marquise does not want to do anything that could pose a potential risk to her or his wife, which is why he has chosen not to play this season.

“After choosing football so many times, I feel like I am inclined to make the right decision by choosing my family first.,” Marquise said in a YouTube video. “I won’t take the chance of experiencing another loss because of my selfish decision-making. I can’t do it. It’s not something I’m willing to live with, therefore I’ve chosen to opt-out of playing only for this season.”

It’s admirable that Marquise has chosen to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of his family above all else and it’s beautiful that he has the means and financial security to do so.

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