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Duvernay-Tardif among five activist athletes named "Sportsperson of the Year" by SI

Super Bowl champion and Kansas City Chiefs player Laurent Duvernay-Tardif poses next to an ice sculpture of the Vince Lombardi trophy during an event to celebrate his win in Montreal, Sunday, February 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL (CITYEWS) – Quebec’s Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was one of five athletes recognized as “Sportsperson of the Year: The Activist Athlete” by Sports Illustrated on Sunday.

The Super Bowl champion got the nod alongside teammate and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, Breanna Stewart of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, and women’s U.S. open tennis champion Naomi Osaka.

A native of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que., Duvernay-Tardif chose to sit out the 2020 NFL season after volunteering in a long-term care facility in his home province at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic’s first wave.

The Chiefs’ starting right guard earned a medical degree from McGill University and has been working to fulfil his requirements to become a doctor in the off-season.

“As athletes, we have the power to make a positive impact in our society,” Duvernay-Tardif tweeted Sunday. “To be recognized for my involvement off the field by one of the biggest sport awards means everything to me.”

Duvernay-Tardif, who was the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 campaign because of the novel coronavirus, announced in September he would spend the fall studying nutrition, biostatistics and epidemiology at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Cambridge, Mass.

“I dedicate this award to all the healthcare workers who have been making huge sacrifices in order to protect and care for others,” said Duvernay-Tardif in a follow-up tweet. “Thank you. The work isn’t over.”

The Quebecer won the Super Bowl with the Chiefs last February.