We have covered the life and career of Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif on this blog before. One of the most well-educated premier players in the history of the NFL, Duvernay-Tardif has a doctorate in medicine degree. When he first achieved this, Duvernay-Tardif was looking at a career post-football that would both support him and his family, but also be something that he could do in the community to help save lives.
Then the Coronavirus came along and Duvernay-Tardif found his calling into the medical profession far sooner than he ever could have imagined.
The Chiefs’ starting right guard is just three months removed from winning Super Bowl LIV on February 2, 2020. To say that feels like a lifetime ago at this point is something of an understatement. Most players get to celebrate winning a championship trophy with an offseason filled with parties, appearances, and get-togethers. While none of the Chiefs have been able to do this due to the virus, Duvernay-Tardif took a very different path – as is his nature – when the Coronavirus struck in his home province of Montreal.
After returning home from a vacation in the Caribbean into an immediate 14-day quarantine, Duvernay-Tardif wanted to help. With the Canadian border closed – meaning he was unable to return to Kansas City – Duvernay-Tardif reached out to the health authority to see how he could help. His degree is currently in a grey area – he hasn’t completed residencies and has no specialization – so his options were a limited as to how this premier player could best be used in the crisis in Canada.
Originally, this premier player was told that his best role in the fight would be to use his position as a celebrity to help spread the message about the importance of social distancing. As the crisis grew, however, he started using his contacts to find a place working on the frontlines in Quebec at a long term healthcare facility in South Shore. His first day back at the hospital was the day after the 2020 NFL Draft where Duvernay-Tardif found he would be blocking for a new running back next year in Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
This is what the premier player had to say about his first day back:
“I felt nervous the night before, but a good nervous, like before a game, and I packed everything neatly: scrubs, white coat, extra pens, even a second pair of shoes that I could leave in my locker, knowing they were clean,” he wrote.
“My shift started at 7:30 a.m. I found out that I would be working for now in more of a nursing role, helping relieve the workers who have already been in place.”
The first day back on the job was draining according to Duvernay-Tardif, but he was already looking forward to getting back into the rhythm of things knowing that he can make a difference to the care of others while using his position in the world of sports to speak about the virus knowing that people will listen.
This likely makes the McGill grad the first NFL player in history to be fighting a pandemic in such a prominent role while also fully expecting to be back on a football field as soon as it is medically safe to do so.
There are a lot of premier players out there doing great things in the world right now. Some of them are working to raise money for various charities, while others are getting even more active by helping out the health services. Duvernay-Tardif is one of them and his is a name that deserves to be recognized.
Article by Premier Players