Marquise Goodwin’s Motivation? His Sister

10 06 2013

James Walker of recently wrote about Buffalo Bills rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin and his inspiration to keep playing the sport he loves at the NFL level.

His answer is different and genuine.

Goodwin has a sister, Deja, that has cerebral palsy, which is a muscle and brain disability. This prohibits her from having control over most bodily functions that many of us take for granted. She has little power over her muscle movements and can not do most daily routines without help from someone else.

Saying that their relationship is “closer than white on rice,” Goodwin explains that he has always been very connected with his sister from the day she was born.

The excerpts below give a good representation of Deja’s impact on Goodwin.


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I went to school with Goodwin for two years before he graduated and experienced a superstar receiver that helped turn a struggling football program into a regularly playoff-bound team. Every time the ball was hiked from the line of scrimmage, you just couldn’t wait to see his burst of speed down the sideline that inevitably was too much for the opposing secondary to handle. Oh yeah—followed by an assured catch from a man that holds the national high school record in the long jump.

During his time at my high school to his four years at the University of Texas, I’ve always rooted for Goodwin to succeed—why wouldn’t you want your hometown hero to do great things?

But this article gives me another reason to root for the Bills rookie. I see someone that has more incentive to play a professional sport than for money. Or fame. Or social status.

He’s playing the sport for something more important than those trivial entities. He’s playing the sport for the sister he clearly cares about.

I can definitely root for a player like that.

To read the entire ESPN article, click here.

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