Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Named Recipient of the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award


Duvernay-Tardif was announced as the receipt of the award during the ESPYs on Saturday

By Matt McMullen –

The man put his life on hold, forgoing his starting role on the reigning Super Bowl champions in order to help those who he’d never met. He walked away from the glory of an NFL Sunday for endless hours filled with heartache, all in the hopes of making a difference where he could.

Kansas City Chiefs’ guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is an impressive athlete, but the decision that he made around a year ago this time goes beyond his aptitude on the field and demonstrates the character that makes the man we call “LDT” an outstanding human being.

Nobody asked for him to put his football career on hold and to utilize his medical degree in the battle against COVID-19 – he simply just believed that it was the right thing to do – and it’s for that very reason that Duvernay-Tardif was named the recipient of the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award on Saturday at the ESPYs.

The honor, which is part of the Sports Humanitarian Awards, is given to an athlete whose continuous, demonstrated leadership and care has created a measured positive impact on their community through sports.

Duvernay-Tardif certainly fits the bill, as he spent the past year at a long-term care facility in his native Montreal caring for those battling COVID-19.

“Sometimes I was a nurse, sometimes I was an orderly and sometimes I was a resident. I was basically helping where help was needed. It was tough – we lost a lot of patients – and we know that long-term care facilities were pretty badly affected,” Duvernay-Tardif explained during minicamp last month. “I don’t regret my decision. I think I was in the right place at the right moment, and I was able to put my medical training to use.”

Duvernay-Tardif is now back with the Chiefs as they prepare for the 2021 campaign, but his decision – and its impact on those in need – will not soon be forgotten. This award only further solidifies that.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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