KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former Kansas City Chiefs lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is officially hanging up the cleats and retiring.
“Being a professional athlete is a privilege as well as an extremely enriching human and personal experience,” the 32-year-old said in his retirement announcement.
“The victories, losses and injuries have all been moments to learn how to win and lose as a team while managing a wide range of emotions.”
The Chiefs drafted LDT in 2014 out of McGill University in Canada, where he was also attending medical school at the time. He graduated from medical school in 2018, largely finishing his studies in the offseason.
“(Coach Reid) was probably one of the only NFL coaches who positively viewed my desire to complete my medical school studies at McGill while playing football,” Duvernay-Tardif said Thursday.
The former Chiefs star said Reid believed that players have to thrive off the field to play well on the field.
“Being able to count on that kind of leadership was an incredible opportunity for me,” he said.
The Canadian doctor and professional football player made headlines when he opted out of the 2020 NFL season to use his medical degree on the front lines against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He went from celebrating a Super Bowl win to working at a long-term care facility in his home country of Canada.
Duvernay-Tardif was named the 2021 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian of the Year at the ESPYS and was also named Sports Illustrated’s 2020 Sportsperson of the Year for his work fighting COVID-19.
LDT stayed with the team until 2021 when Kansas City traded him to the New York Jets. In 2022, he started his medical residency at McGill, four years after he graduated from medical school. But later that year, he joined the Jets’ practice squad.
It’s likely Duvernay-Tardif will finish his medical residency now that he’s retiring.
In his retirement announcement, LDT went on to thank his agent, his girlfriend and fans for their support over his nine years in the NFL.
“Although closing the door on this chapter of my life will be difficult, I am serene in this decision and I retire with the feeling of mission accomplished,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “I view this incredible experience not as an ending, but as a springboard towards other projects.”