Few titles carry more weight and prestige than that of “Medical Doctor.” However, if Chiefs offensive lineman and recent medical school graduate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif plans on advertising his new title, he reportedly won’t be able to do it on his uniform.
According to a report from Montreal-based sports reporter Andy Mailly-Pressoir, the NFL told Duvernay-Tardif that he will not be allowed to have the title “M.D.” on his jersey.
“I want to put Duvernay-Tardif M.D. on my jersey,” he told the Kansas City Star in February. “I’ve already started a conversation with the league office and they say that anything is possible.”
What someone should have explained to Duvernay-Tardif is that, in America, when your boss says anything is possible, that means no.
At the risk of sounding incredibly lame, the NFL made the right call here. Full credit to Duvernay-Tardif for completing the incredibly difficult journey of becoming a doctor. An achievement that’s hard under normal circumstances, much less while balancing it with an NFL career.
However, the NFL can’t get in the business of allowing players to put their offseason accomplishments on their uniforms. What if Tom Brady becomes an engineer in the offseason? Does he get to change his jerset to Tom Brady “PE?” Would Al Michaels have to add that to his name when calling the game?
“Wow! What an incredible throw by Tom Brady PE!”
Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. There’s also the very real possibility that anthem protesters would develop some kind of professional title which recognizes their protests for social justice. Would the league tell them they couldn’t do that? Do you really want to hear about the game-winning touchdown grab by Antonio Brown SJW?
Duvernay-Tardif should get all the credit in the world for his accomplishment. Though, for now, he should content himself with the knowledge that, unlike most NFL players, he has a lucrative career waiting for him when football is over.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn