Ex Alabama RB Kerry Goode, Who Is Confined To Wheelchair With ALS, Says He Won’t Return To Neyland Stadium After 2002 Incident Where Tennessee Fan Threw A Drink At Him

Former Alabama running back Kerry Goode, who starred for the Crimson Tide in the 1980s, says he will never return to Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. Last season there was an incident where a Tennessee fan threw a drink at Goode, who is confined to a wheelchair due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The former SEC freshman of the year was helped out of the stadium by an usher and his daughter.

Tennessee Fan Goes Over The Line

“My daughter was the only person in my group that knew what was happening to me. All 100 (pounds) of her stood up to defend me. (I’m) thankful the usher also witnessed everything and she got us out in a hurry,” Goode, who has difficulty speaking, communicated to The Tuscaloosa News via email. “My daughter was so upset that she wanted to punch someone’s lights out. (B)ut I told her to calm down and let them have their fun. (They’re) not used to beating us. Besides I didn’t want Roman feeling bad about (what) happened. So we didn’t tell him. He found out like everyone else did, through my Facebook post. However, I will never see a game in Neyland Stadium again.”

Goode was at the game supporting his son, Roman, who is a recruiting analyst on Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel’s support staff. The elder Goode even wore a UT shirt, but switched into an Alabama shirt for the second half. Old habits die hard.

It was during the second half of the game, a Tennessee win, that an unidentified UT fan threw the beverage onto Goode.

Alabama faces Tennessee at home in Bryant-Denny Stadium this Saturday, Oct. 20, Goode will be in attendance for that game. While he will be cheering on his amla mater, there’s a more important reason he’ll be at the game.

ALS Fundraising Challenge

This week kicks off the annual Kerry and Gary challenge to defeat ALS. Goode teamed up with former Auburn basketball player Gary Godfrey, who was a teammate of Charles Barkley’s, for a donation drive in which both Alabama and Auburn fan bases compete for the higher donation total. The competition lasts through the Iron Bowl on Nov. 25.

ALS is  is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their demise. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. When voluntary muscle action is progressively affected, people may lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe.

According to the ALS association, approximately 5,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year, which averages to about 15 new cases each day. It is estimated that up to 20,000 Americans have the disease at any given time.

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