Super Bowl champion Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has decided to suspend the upcoming NFL season. The Canadian wants to continue fighting as a doctor against the corona virus.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif knows the fight on the front line. As a guard on the Kansas City Chiefs offensive line, his job is to protect star quarterback Patrick Mahomes from enemy attacks. But during the upcoming NFL season, others will need the protection of the 146-pound muscle pack more urgently. In addition to his work as a football professional, the Canadian is a doctor – and now defends fellow human beings in the fight against the invisible opponent Corona.
“I can’t allow myself to spread this virus in society just because I want to do the sport that I love,” wrote the 29-year-old who won the Super Bowl with the Chiefs in early February on his social channels . “It was one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but I have to follow my conviction and do what I personally think is right.”
The pandemic is raging worse in the United States than in other countries. While the number of infections declined somewhat in large parts of the world after the first wave, the rate in the states remains at a high level. More than four million cases are known – almost a quarter of the world’s infections.
Duvernay-Tardif has been working as a doctor since April: “I got a different view of this pandemic and saw the stress that people and the health system are exposed to.” For the season, which is due to start on September 10, the NFL and the players’ union NFLPA are working on a hygiene concept. For the Canadian, who has been active in the NFL for six years, one thing is certain: “If I take a risk, then I take care of patients.”
Duvernay-Tardif: Full support from Andy Reid
Duvernay-Tardif graduated from McGill University of Medicine in May 2018. He learned for that during the offseason. He was supported by Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid – whose mother studied at the same university.
“I am a big fan of Larry,” said Reid at a press conference: “I was brought up by a doctor and I understand the dedication with which doctors work. They are healers and only want the best for you. Larry clearly has these qualities. ” And added with a warm smile: “I am very proud.”
Duvernay-Tardif is only the fourth player in NFL history to have a medical degree. He is also the first player to use the so-called “opt-out option”. A clause that was closed because of the pandemic by the NFL and the NFLPA that allows a player to suspend his contract for the coming season. For this, the Guard waives a lot of money. In fact, he would have received $ 2.75 million this season. Now it is “only” 150,000 dollars (128,700 euros).