Kansas City Chiefs’ guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has officially announced that he has decided to sit out the upcoming NFL football season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Canadian athlete is the first NFL player to graduate from medical school and has been working on the front lines of COVID-19 as an orderly at a long-term care facility in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec.
In an Instagram statement posted on Friday, Duvernay-Tardif wrote, “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. That is why I have decided to take the Opt Out Option negotiated by the League and the NFLPA and officially opt out of the 2020 season.”
Duvernay-Tardif also stated in his post that he knows the team’s medical staff will provide a safe environment for the players, but does not want to take the risk. “Being on the frontline during this offseason 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 to simply play the sport that I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients,” he said.