Laurent Duvernay-Tardif named ESPN's Sports Humanitarian of the year

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Laurent Duvernay-Tardif named ESPN's Sports Humanitarian of the year
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The former McGill University offensive lineman worked as an orderly in a long-term care home in Montreal, marking the first football player to put his career on hold due to COVID-19.  (Brynn Anderson/The Associated Press - image credit)
The former McGill University offensive lineman worked as an orderly in a long-term care home in Montreal, marking the first football player to put his career on hold due to COVID-19. (Brynn Anderson/The Associated Press - image credit)

Kansas City guard and doctor Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is being honoured for his decision to opt out of the 2020 NFL season to pitch in at a long-term care home in Montreal to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday night, the Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que., native was named the recipient of ESPN's Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian of the Year at the 2021 ESPY Awards.

"Being a professional athlete comes with a lot of privileges but also a responsibility to use your platform to have a positive impact in your community," the 30-year-old wrote in a Twitter post.

"Winning this award for my work off the field is a huge honor."

The award is given to "an athlete whose continuous, demonstrated leadership has created a measured positive impact on their community through sports. The candidate must embrace the core principles that Muhammad Ali embodied so well, including confidence, conviction, dedication, giving and respect," according to ESPN.

Duvernay-Tardif earned a degree in medicine from McGill University, but has yet to get his license to practice. Still, he left the NFL in July of 2020, fresh off a Super Bowl win, to work as an orderly in a CHSLD.

"Five years from now, I'm going to be able to look at 2020 and be like, 'Alright, I followed my conviction and I made a move that I'm going to be proud of,'" he told CBC in January.

WATCH | Duvernay-Tardif describes working in long-term care home:

The former McGill offensive lineman was also named the co-winner of the Lou Marsh award for Canada's top athlete last year.

Now, he's back on the field in Kansas City, trying help his team win its second Super Bowl.

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