Chiefs' Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Working at Nursing Home Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2020

In this Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 photo, Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (76) speaks during a news conference in Aventura, Fla., for the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who holds Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery degrees, has been working at a long-term care facility in Canada to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Duvernay-Tardif wrote of his experience in a first-person article for Sports Illustrated:

"A few days ago, health ministry officials started a campaign to recruit health care professionals, especially students in medicine and nursing. It's now possible for me to go back and help. I had already wanted to, but when it's real, it hits you, the gravity involved. Now, the discussion shifts from I want to go back to how am I going to go back? I discussed with my girlfriend whether we will continue to sleep in the same bed or live in the same apartment. These conversations made me realize even more the sacrifices that people in health care, on the front line, are making."

Duvernay-Tardif had been willing to help earlier in the pandemic but was unable because he has not done any post-graduate work as a doctor, including his residency, because of his NFL career. The Chiefs backed Duvernay-Tardif's decision to help the community. 

"I had to check in with the Chiefs from a contract standpoint. They've been amazing. They were proud of the fact that I wanted to go help. They said they would support me," Duvernay-Tardif wrote.

Duvernay-Tardif has been working in a long-term care facility, an area he says was "hit the hardest" by COVID-19. He implored people to follow social distancing guidelines and go about protocols in the right way, no matter how hard it may be on a personal level. As part of the NFLPA task force, Duvernay-Tardif said they are just getting started in examining how—or if—football can come back in September. 

"It's too soon to say when sports might come back. Or what that might look like," he wrote. "What I can say is if we're not playing in September, knowing all the implications of what sport means for a nation and the money behind this huge industry, there are going to be bigger issues than not playing football."