As the first professional in the National Football League (NFL), Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will not compete in the new American football season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 29-year-old Canadian from Super Bowl winner Kansas City Chiefs announced on Friday (local time) that he would exercise the option. The league and players’ union had previously agreed on this option. Duvernay-Tardif is waiving several million dollars because he should only receive compensation of $ 150,000 instead of his salary.

Duvernay-Tardif has a medical degree and wants to become a doctor after his football career. He had worked in a hospital in his home country for the past few months, looking after corona patients. On Twitter, he wrote on Friday (local time) that the decision was one of the hardest of his life, but he had to follow his beliefs.

Corona risk just to help patients

“Being at the forefront during the break gave me a different perspective on the pandemic and the stress it poses to individuals and our health system,” wrote Duvernay-Tardif. If he wants to take risks for his own health, he does so to help patients. The offensive Lineman added that he couldn’t allow himself to possibly transmit the virus simply by doing the sport he loved.