Is Mark Richt OK? Ex Bulldogs coach reveals diagnosis, fans laud 'positive outlook'
Popular player and coach calls diagnosis a 'momentary light affliction' in Twitter statement, leading to an outpouring of prayers from social media
Twitter is currently praying for former football coach Mark Richt after he revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The ex-University of Georgia coach took to Twitter to announce his diagnosis in a brief, but a heartfelt statement on July 1. Within minutes, users responded with thoughts and prayers, showing that he is still a beloved figure years after retiring.
While not fatal, Parkinson's can have a major impact on an individual's life. Back in November 2020, it was reported Russian President Vladamir Putin would step down after being diagnosed with the disease. The Kremlin quickly extinguished those rumors, claiming Putin was perfectly healthy despite occasional appearances that leave many wondering to the contrary. In January, Ozzy Osbourne revealed he had Parkinson's, but said he was "getting better" in a June interview.
'Back to the Future' star Michael J Fox also revealed he was struggling with Parkinson's and had to stop "actively looking for work" as a result. Richt didn't dive into details about his diagnosis, but here's everything we know so far.
Is Mark Richt OK?
In his brief statement, Richt revealed: "I have been waddling around lately". He did not reveal if he had any of the other symptoms, so it does appear to be a good sign. Richt also confirmed he would be continuing his work as a football analyst on the ACC Network, indicating that he is in the very early stages of the disease. In some cases, like that of Fox, the disease can cause cognitive issues, which make it hard to speak and move around.
Given that we will still see Richt on ACC, it appears as if the symptoms aren't as severe as that of Fox or Osbourne. Unfortunately, Parkinson's doesn't have a cure and the symptoms usually get worse over time. Richt didn't reveal when he was diagnosed, so we can't say for sure how long he's been living with the disease. For now, though, fans should be pleased that he won't be going anywhere.
His uplifting and positive statement quickly warmed hearts online. Shortly after he tweeted it, fans flooded social media with thoughts and prayers for the beloved coach.
Twitter praises Richt, says 'what an outlook!'
"Coach Richt has never been anything less of a class act. We love you coach, Prayers," one person tweeted. Another said, "My heart goes out to Coach Richt. Hang in there, and fight the good fight, Coach! A great part of the UM family."
Coach Richt has never been anything less of a class act. We love you coach, Prayers💔 https://t.co/YfFY5txudc— Heath H. (@HH4Hunnid) July 2, 2021
My heart goes out to Coach Richt. Hang in there, and fight the good fight, Coach! A great part of the UM family. https://t.co/WD0mSgSqjp— Bill (@mrcoaster1) July 2, 2021
"What an outlook! My thoughts and prayers are with Coach Richt and his family as he battles Parkinson's Disease," tweeted one person. Another said, "My dad bravely battled with Parkinson’s for decades. Wishing Coach Richt, a true mensch, all the best." One user commented, "This is so sad, but Coach Richt is taking it the same way he does everything: With a positive attitude. Here with you coach. Prayers up."
What an outlook! My thoughts and prayers are with Coach Richt and his family as he battles Parkinson's Disease. https://t.co/BrkngUuCSD— Peyton A. Arthur (@peyton_a_arthur) July 2, 2021
My dad bravely battled with Parkinson’s for decades. Wishing Coach Richt, a true mensch, all the best. 🙏 https://t.co/H1csx0b06j— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) July 2, 2021
This is so sad, but Coach Richt is taking it the same way he does everything: With a positive attitude. Here with you coach. Prayers up. https://t.co/OcfvSeAKEU— William McFadden (@willmcfadden) July 1, 2021
Ever since he retired from coaching in 2018, Richt has been providing analysis for the Atlantic Coast Conference for the ACC Network. This isn't his first health scare, in 2019 he suffered a heart attack, from which he quickly recovered and returned on air.