Two Kansas City Chiefs players have yet another accolade to add to their 2020 list of accomplishments. On Sunday, Sports Illustrated released their Sportsperson of the Year honors and of the five athletes listed, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif both made the list.
Presenting the #Sportsperson of the Year: The Activist Athlete.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 6, 2020
Joining them in that distinction is Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, tennis powerhouse Naomi Asaka and 2020 WNBA champion Breanna Stewart. Coincidentally, all of the honorees were crowned champions in their respective sports this year. James helped the Lakers clinch their 17th NBA Finals title, Stewart lifted her second WNBA Finals trophy with the Seattle Storm and Naomi Osaka became this year’s U.S. Open victor in September.
Check out what the publication had to say about both members of Chiefs Kingdom:
Patrick Mahomes: “A Super Bowl victory—complete with game MVP trophy—cemented his status as the NFL’s top player, but it’s what Mahomes has done off the field since that’s elevated him to a new level of importance.”
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif: “He was the starting right guard for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs. But he’s also a doctor, and when the pandemic came, Duvernay-Tardif traded in his uniform and cleats for medical scrubs.”
Mahomes Joined Other NFL Stars in Speaking Out Against Police Brutality
This year’s MVP contender was quick to condemn the murders of unarmed Black Americans by law enforcement and encourage the league to follow suit.
Patrick Mahomes: "I've been given this platform & I want to make this world a better place, however I can." pic.twitter.com/muY4Lmsk32
— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) June 10, 2020
The 25-year-old even joined other NFL stars in a viral video speaking out against these injustices, which put some much-needed pressure on league execs to “act quickly” and also follow suit. When critics spoke out against his efforts, Mahomes delivered a rather excellent response.
“I’m going to do whatever I believe and whatever I believe is right,” Mahomes said. “I’m going to do whatever I can to fight for equality for all people. And I feel like I’ve shown that over this offseason and I’m going to continue that fight. I’m not worried about people and how they’re going to do negative stuff back to me. I’m worried about doing what’s right for humanity and making sure all people feel equal.”
LDT Put His Playing Career on Hold in the Wake of the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a serious concern in this country. Also a doctor by trade, Duvernay-Tardif decided to opt out of the 2020 title defense campaign and instead direct his efforts in the healthcare industry to treat patients diagnosed with the virus.
“Being at the frontline during this offseason has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system,” the 29-year-old said in July. “I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities simply to play the sport that I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.”
Several months later, much-deserved praise continues to pour in for him, and Duvernay-Tardif released a humbling statement about his latest award.
As athletes, we have the power to make a positive impact in our society. To be recognized for my involvement off the field by one of the biggest sport awards means everything to me.
— Laurent D. Tardif (@LaurentDTardif) December 6, 2020