Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has exercised his right to opt out of the 2020 NFL season, becoming the first player to do so, and will instead continue to work as an orderly at a long-term care facility in Canada.
Duvernay-Tardif announced his decision in a statement on Twitter.
“Being at the frontline during this off-season has given me a different perspective on the pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system,” Duvernay-Tardif wrote. “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.”
Duvernay-Tardif was slated to make $2.75 million this season. Instead, he will receive $150,000 from the NFL’s op-out deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The 29-year-old was born in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec and grew up in Montreal. He eventually attended McGill University, balancing university football with medical school, prolonging his studies over eight years.
He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft and has spent the first six seasons of his career with the Chiefs, with whom he won the Super Bowl in 2019.