- The moments in and around the game that are bigger than the game itself.
- The speeches to teammates and fans that are larger even than the game itself.
- The moments when sports is used as a platform for bigger social conversations.
- The thrilling moments from your childhood that you never forget.
- The tender moments among teammates.
It’s why we watch. It’s why we play. It’s the stuff that rises up out of sports and settles down into us.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has been the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs starting Right Guard for the past five seasons.
The twenty-nine year old Duvernay-Tardif is also a medical school graduate from McGill University in Canada. During the coronavirus pandemic, he had been assisting as an orderly in a long-term care facility in the Montreal area.
Earlier this week, Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the upcoming NFL season. Not because he is sick with COVID-19. Not because he or a loved one is high-risk. But because he cannot see playing football when he is needed in the hospital:
“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,” he 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.”Don’t like ads? Become a supporter and enjoy The Good Men Project ad free
He called the decision one of the most difficult ones he has made in his life. It’s a move that’s difficult to not respect.
Coach Andy Reid, as well as his teammates, including QB Patrick Mahomes and WR Tyreek Hill, have voiced support for the move:
Gonna miss my brother in locker room , but I love this move ❤️ https://t.co/QABgoRZWod
— Ty Hill (@cheetah) July 25, 2020
Under NFL rules, Players without risk can earn $150,000 if they opt out. Duvernay-Tardif had been scheduled to make $2.75 million this season.
Photo Credit: AP