KC Chiefs Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opts out of 2020 NFL Season to Work on COVID Front Lines

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Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (76) during an NFL preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 31, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.Scott Winters / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images file

He is the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. He explained his decision with a lengthy statement Friday.

The Chiefs offensive lineman, a starter in last season’s Super Bowl, is opting out of the 2020 season due to the global pandemic, he announced Friday on social media. The only medical doctor on an NFL roster, Duvernay-Tardif will instead continue working at a long-term care facility in his native Canada, about an hour outside Montreal. 

“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, also adding, “Being at 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 simply to play the sport that I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.”

In amendments to the collective bargaining agreement due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL and NFL Players Association allowed players an opt-out option. 

Read more here: The Kansas City Star And NBC