On July 24th, the NFL said it will give players two weeks to opt out of the upcoming season amid Covid concerns. Almost immediately, Canadian lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif declared his non-participation.
That means he won’t be a part of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl-defending campaign, which kicks off on September 10th. He was the first player in the league to drop out.
In a Tweet explaining his decision, Duvernay-Tardif said being on the front line of the fight against COVID-19 has changed his perspective on the crisis. “If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients,” he wrote.
Duvernay-Tardif has a medical degree from McGill University in Montreal. During the offseason, he has worked on fulfilling the requirements to become a doctor. In the meantime, he worked as an orderly in a long-term care home just south of Montreal.
So far, 31 players have bailed on the 2020-2021 season. The deadline to opt out is August 5th.