Quebecer Laurent Duvernay-Tardif announced, on Twitter late Friday evening, that he would not play in 2020-2021 because of the risks associated with COVID-19.
The Kansas City Chiefs player, Super Bowl champions , made his decision just hours after the NFL and the Players’ Association agreed on several protocols to safely resume the season.
I am confident the Chiefs’ medical team has a solid plan in place to minimize the health risks associated with COVID-19, Duvernay-Tardif wrote. However, risks persist and, as a future healthcare professional, I cannot afford to become a potential vector of transmission in our communities.
Duvernay-Tardif is the first NFL player to take advantage of the option not to play this season.
This was one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life, says # 76. Having said that, considering the health risks, I need to do what’s best for me. This is why I decided to take the option of not playing this season according to the “Opt out” clause negotiated by the Players’ Association and the league, which is available to all players in the NFL.
Under the terms of the agreement between the NFL and the Players’ Association, athletes who did not want to play this season had until August 3 to make their decision known.
Duvernay-Tardif maintains that the fact of having worked in a CHSLD during the pandemic prompted him to make this decision, not only for his health, but for the entire health system.
My experience on the front lines last spring gave me a different perspective on the pandemic and the stress it puts on the health care system, explains the athlete-doctor. If I find myself in a situation involving significant risks, I will do so by treating patients.
The 29-year-old Duvernay-Tardif concluded by thanking the Chiefs for their support and understanding.
Duvernay-Tardif will not receive his full salary of 2.75 million in 2020, but he will pocket US $ 150,000 according to two anonymous sources from The Associated Press .
In February 2017, the former McGill University flagship signed a five-year, $ 42.5 million contract extension . On the other hand, last April, he had accepted a contract restructuring .
His teammate Ty Hill was quick to react to LDT’s decision .