Former 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark made a shocking revelation on Sunday night, sharing that he has ALS.
Here is what the 60-year-old tweeted:
I wanted to share some unfortunate news: I have ALS. https://t.co/RqU0fFT98g
— Dwight Clark (@DwightC87) March 20, 2017
Clark issued a statement at that link in which he says he started feeling weakness in his left hand in Sept. 2015 and began undergoing testing after that. He described his current symptoms and says he suspects football played a role in the condition:
In addition to losing strength in my left hand – which makes opening a pack of sugar or buttoning my shirt impossible – I have now experienced weakness in my right hand, abs, lower back and right leg. I can’t run, play golf or walk any distances. Picking up anything over 30 pounds is a chore. The one piece of good news is that the disease seems to be progressing more slowly than in some patients.
I’ve been asked if playing football caused this. I don’t know for sure. But I certainly suspect it did. And 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.
Clark, a two-time All-Pro and Super Bowl champion with San Francisco, is known for making “The Catch”, which is recognized as one of the greatest highlights in NFL history.
The 6-yard TD catch gave the 49ers a 28-27 lead over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game, which they held onto. The Niners then went on to win the Super Bowl.
Clark, a former 10th-round pick out of Clemson, had 506 catches, 6,750 yards and 48 career touchdown catches. He retired after the 1987 season following a 9-year playing career, all spent with the 49ers.
Clark served as an executive for the Cleveland Browns from 1999-2002 and recently did some broadcasting work for CSN Bay Area.