Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a former Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman, has officially announced his retirement from the NFL.
Duvernay-Tardif made international headlines when the Canadian-born athlete announced he would be taking a sabbatical from playing in order to help with his homeland’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Quebec native graduated from the prestigious McGill University in Montreal having played four years of football and attending medical school.
He graduated from the McGill Faculty of Medicine in May of 2018 with a Doctor of Medicine and a Master of Surgery degree.
Duvernay-Tardif was selected in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Chiefs with the 200th pick. He went on to help Kansas City win Super Bowl LIV – the team’s first title in 50 years.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a Canadian lineman, has announced his retirement from the NFL
Duvernay-Tardif played nine NFL seasons and won Super Bowl LIV with the Kansas City Chiefs
But he might be equally known for sitting out the 2020 NFL season. Duvernay-Tardif earned his doctorate in medicine in 2018 and decided to help his home nation with the Covid crisis.
But about a month after winning that Super Bowl title, the Covid pandemic became a full-force international emergency and Duvernay-Tardif answered the call.
Wanting to help, he worked at a long-term care facility in the Montreal suburb of St. Jean-sur-Richelieu.
While he was working there, he was also studying at Harvard University to earn an extra masters degree – this time a Masters of Public Health.
Duvernay-Tardif became the first football player to announce that he would be opting-out of the 2020 NFL season due to Covid while he continued working as an orderly in that hospital.
As a result of his efforts, Sports Illustrated named him one of their Sportspeople of the Year and he was the recipient of the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award at the 2021 ESPYs.
Back in Canada, he was co-awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy – given to the country’s top athlete of the year.
Duvernay-Tardif eventually returned to the NFL, being traded to the New York Jets prior to the start of the 2021 season. He saw limited playing time in the 2021 and 2022 seasons, leading to his retirement announcement on Thursday.
‘Although closing the door on this stage in my life will be difficult, I am serene in this decision and I walk away feeling accomplished. I see this incredible experience not as an end, but a stepping stone to other projects,’ Duvernay-Tardif wrote in French in an Instagram post announcing his retirement.