Chiefs’ Laurent Duvernay-Tardif nominated for ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Award

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For Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, the decision was a no-brainer.

Rather than join his Chiefs teammates last season as they attempted to win a second straight Super Bowl, Duvernay-Tardif stayed in his native Canada and worked on the COVID-19 frontlines.

Duvernay-Tardif, who is a doctor as well as an offensive lineman, didn’t do it for the recognition, but it’s come his way. For instance, he joined teammate Patrick Mahomes and others as Sports Illustrated’s 2020 Sportsperson of the Year.

And on Thursday, Duvernay-Tardif was nominated for ESPN’s Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award.

This is what ESPN wrote in a news release: “Less than three months after winning Super Bowl LIV, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif — the Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Lineman who also is a Medical School Graduate — began fighting COVID-19 on the front lines at a long-term care facility in Quebec, Canada. His conviction to combat a virus the world knew very little about at the onset of the pandemic risked his own personal health and football career. Duvernay-Tardif was the first NFL player to opt out of playing in the 2020 season due to COVID-19, and did so to follow a calling to help medical professionals and give an extra hand to help care for some of the most vulnerable. He worked for eight months as an orderly and properly administered appropriate drug dosages, fed, washed and dressed each patient.

“The offensive lineman also served on the NFLPA’s COVID-19 task force, where he helped examine different scenarios for the safest measures to put in place when football games returned. Along with playing football and working in healthcare, the Super Bowl Champion created the Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Foundation with his longtime girlfriend, Florence, to ensure both physical activity and creativity are a part of a child’s development and educational success.”

The other nominees for the award are the Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo, the Minnesota Lynx’s Layshia Clarendon and the WWE’s Titus O’Neil.

Last year’s winner was Minnesota Twins slugger Nelson Cruz.

Four teams are up for the Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year: the Atlanta Dream (WNBA), Denver Broncos (NFL), New York City FC (MLS) and Toronto Blue Jays (MLB).

The Sports Humanitarian Awards will be held July 12 in New York City. The show will air on ABC (Ch. 9) on July 24 at 1 p.m.

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