Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif made headlines a few weeks ago when he earned his medical degree from McGill University, somehow managing to get his school work done in the offseason during his first four NFL seasons. Now, he’s in the headlines again because the NFL reportedly denied his request to add his new title, “M.D.” to his jersey nameplate.
The marketing value alone makes “Duvernay-Tardif, M.D.” a great idea for the league. Allowing him to show off his status as the first active player to earn a medical degree would be unquestionably great P.R., especially in an offseason that involved fallout from the new anthem policy and another prominent player facing suspension for violating the personal conduct policy.
Sure, it’s a little gimmicky for Duvernay-Tardif to add those two letters to his already crowded nameplate, but it’s not as if he requested an absurd XFL-style nickname (“He Hate Me”) or an incorrect Spanish translation of a jersey number (Chad “Ochocinco,” who had to legally change his name for it to be reflected on his jersey). Duvernay-Tardif has been chipping away at his degree for the last eight years, and should be allowed to honor that accomplishment on the back of his jersey. Imagine a kid watching the game and asking his or her parent what the “M.D.” stands for, and then finding out that you can be both a doctor and a professional football player. And a few years from now, when the trend of picks up, maybe you’ll see some CFAs and JDs out there on the field too.
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NOW ON THE MMQB: Albert Breer on why NFL people have been visiting Norman, Oklahoma this offseason … Robert Klemko on Greg Hardy chasing a career in mixed martial arts.
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