Congratulations are in order for Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who has been officially named a finalist for the 2021 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award.
As is well known now, Duvernay-Tardif chose to opt out of the NFL season last year to fight COVID-19 on the front lines at a long-term care facility in Montreal. He has a medical degree from McGill University.
Duvernay-Tardif finally returned to the Chiefs this week.
“To me, it was never about saying we shouldn’t be able to play sports in 2020,” he said. “I feel like through the pandemic, [there were] a ton of things that divided people. Sports is probably one of the last things that brought people together. I think everybody did everything they could in order to make sports happen — and I think it was great for people. The fans needed it. Everybody went through ups and downs throughout 2020. Being able to watch the Chiefs — to watch your team — perform at a high level even though there’s a pandemic going on? It’s a great thing. It’s the tissue of our society.”
ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Awards is “a celebration of the impact made by athletes, teams and sports industry professionals who are using sports to make a difference in their communities and throughout the world.”
The other finalists for the award are Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs), Layshia Clarendon (Minnesota Lynx) and Titus O’Neil (WWE).