Former 49ers WR Dwight Clark says he has ALS. Clark made the announcement on his website Sunday Night.
I wanted to share some unfortunate news: I have ALS. https://t.co/RqU0fFT98g
— Dwight Clark (@DwightC87) March 20, 2017
“In September of 2015, I started feeling weakness in my left hand,” Clark wrote. “I was mildly paying attention to it because since my playing days, I’ve constantly had pain in my neck. I was thinking it was related to some kind of nerve damage because it would just come and go. After months of tests and treatment, I got some bad news. I was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. I have ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Those words are still very hard for me to say.”
Clark says he has no proof that football may have contributed to his diagnosis but he believes it is very possible that it did. “I encourage the NFLPA and the NFL to continue working together in their efforts to make the game of football safer, especially as it relates to head trauma.”
In 1982, Dwight Clark made, maybe the most famous touchdown reception in the history of the NFL. Simply known as “The Catch”, Clark leaped up and made the game winning score against the Dallas Cowboys with less than a minute left to send San Francisco to their first Super Bowl.
— Jerry Carnes 11Alive (@jcarnes11alive) March 20, 2017
Get well wishes came from all around the NFL as former teammates and opponents sent their thoughts and prayers issuing statements and sharing notes of encouragment on social media.
Former teammate Dwight Clark revealed today he is battling ALS.He's in good spirits considering and is ready to fight.Say a prayer for # 87
— Mike Shumann (@MikeShumann) March 20, 2017
Dwight Clark will fight this with the heart of a Champion. I will pray and give my teammate unconditional love and support. #niners4life
— Jesse Sapolu (@jessesapolu) March 20, 2017
Legendary Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana issued the following statement on his former teammate. “Jennifer and I are saddened by the diagnosis of Dwight. This is a difficult time for Dwight, Kelly and all of us who love him. He is family, and in our continual thoughts and prayers. We hope the public will be cognizant of Dwight’s desire for privacy.”
Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Jerry Rice played three seasons with Dwight Clark and called on everyone to pray for him. “DC has done so much for me as a player and friend. My rookie year he showed me how to run that out route! We know him for the catch but he’s a great individual who cares about people. Please pray for him Faithful through this adversity!!! I love the guy!!!!”
Clark wrote in his statement that the only thing he can do right now is continue to battle and fight. “While I’m still trying to wrap my head around the challenge I will face with this disease over the coming years, the only thing I know is that I’m going to fight like hell and live every day to the fullest.”
We at Sports Spectrum are all praying for you Dwight Clark.