Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Duvernay-Tardif, the only active NFL player with a medical education, announced his decision on Twitter on Friday.
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In a statement, the 29-year-old Quebec resident said he was unwilling to endanger people by playing this season.
“Given the global sanitary crisis that we are currently experiencing, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed on key health and safety protocols to protect players. I have no doubt that the Chiefs’ medical staff has put in place a strong plan to help health risks associated with COVID-19, but some risks remain, “he wrote.
“This is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make in my life, but I have to follow my beliefs and do what I think is right for me personally, so I decided to take the Opt Out option that the league has negotiated and the NFLPA and officially opt out of the 2020 NFL season.
“Being on the front line during this low season has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare. I can’t allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities just to to practice sport that I love. If I want to take risks, I take care of the patients. “
Duvernay-Tardif helped the Chiefs win Super Bowl 54 earlier this year. He received his MD from McGill University in Montreal in 2018.
The reigning champions start their regular season on September 10 at home against the Texans.