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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.
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
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