Super Bowl Winner Opts Out Of NFL Season To Help On COVID-19 Frontline
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has become the first player to opt out of the 2020 NFL season. His reasoning? To remain on the coronavirus frontline in Canada.
The Kansas City Chiefs right guard is also a practicing doctor and has been working as an orderly in Montreal after winning the Super Bowl at the start of the year.
But instead of hitting the practise field ahead fo the delayed 2020 NFL season, Duvernay-Tardif has been working non-stop to help those in need of assistance during these tough times in the global pandemic.
My decision regarding the 2020 NFL season pic.twitter.com/jrY3nZfNWO
- Laurent D. Tardif (@LaurentDTardif) July 25, 2020
"This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life but I must follow my convictions and do what I believe is right for me personally," Duvernay-Tardif said in a statement.
"Being at the frontline during this off-season has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system.
"I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities simply to play the sport I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients."
Chiefs' starting RG @LaurentDTardif is the first NFL player to opt out of his contract due to COVID-19. Duvernay-Tardif will not play this year and instead will continue to work as an orderly at a long-term care facility in Canada, helping fight COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/QBpKCHaFUV
- Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 25, 2020
The 29-year-old's selfless act has been backed by the NFL.
What it does mean, though, is that Duvernay-Tardif's $2.75million contract will take a hit - not that he (or anyone for that matter) would care given his incredible gesture.
The NFL's opt-out deal means the Kansas City star would still make $150,000 while helping emergency services fight the virus.
View this post on Instagram
Yes, it's me in this picture but this is not about me. This is about all the people who have been on the frontlines since day one of this pandemic. Now more than ever we need to work as a team and help where the help is needed. We all must come together and do what is best for society, even if that means stepping out of our comfort zone and learning new things. Thank you to the community of health care workers who welcomed me with open arms and trained me at the Long Term Care Home, some even coming out of retirement to give a helping hand. Thank you Elisa for the PPE training. Thank you Hélène for the elderly mobilisation training. Thank you Jean-Philippe for your help during my first shift as an orderly. Thank you Guylaine for the crash course on how to administer medication to patients. I accepted this opportunity with a lot of pride and humility. I will contribute to the best of my abilities to help: help put a smile on a patient's face, help give a day off to nurses and orderlies who have been working countless hours since this pandemic started. We can all do our part and it's touching to see so many people of different professional backgrounds coming together to do what they can. We have to keep working as a team and we will get through this. Ça va bien aller :rainbow:
And while the offensive lineman-turned-frontline worker's decision may have initially shocked his teammates, the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Co quickly threw their support behind the courageous move.
According to Adam Teicher of ESPN, Mahomes said: "It surprises anyone but I respect his decision".
And even if he doesn't play a single snap in the NFL this season, Duvernay-Tardif's heroics will be regarded as one of the finest sporting moments of 2020.
If anyone is deserving of the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, it's this bloke.
Pat Mahomes said today about Lawrence Duvernay-Tardif's decision to opt out of this season: "It surprises anyone but I respect his decision.''
- Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) July 25, 2020
Featured Image Credit: PA