NFL reportedly rejects Chiefs lineman's request to add 'M.D.' to jersey nameplate

One of the best stories this NFL offseason is turning into another example of how uptight the league is.

Kansas City offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif completed his medical degree from McGill University in Montreal over the summer and celebrated it with the ultimate fashion statement by putting “Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif” in Chiefs colors on the back of his lab coat. 

That gave him another idea: Why not put “M.D.” on his NFL jersey? After all, the league has taken numerous steps to ease up on celebrations recently and there are numerous examples of players adding “Jr”, “Sr” and “III” to their name plates. This would be simple enough for the league to O.K. and give football a nice story from a public relations front.

It would appear, unfortunately, that the league feels the addition of two letters to a jersey would put a dent in the sacred shield.

No Fun League strikes back

According to Canadian media, that request was too much fun for a single player to have on the field in 2018.

Translation: “[Duvernay-Tardif] made an official request to the NFL to add the letters “M.D.” in front of his last name on his jersey, but the NFL refused. He hopes that the recent media buzz surrounding his graduation can make a difference.”

Never mind that the NFL has already used Duvernay-Tardif’s medical degree as part of their social media strategy, it’s such an easy win for a league desperate for PR victories that it’s almost hard to believe it wouldn’t want to use this success story as much as possible.

But Duvernay-Tardif is right about one thing: football fans — and those who think sports take themselves way too seriously — should keep up the campaign and hope the NFL eventually relents.

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Laurent Duvernay-Tardif through the years
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Laurent Duvernay-Tardif through the years
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 31: Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (76) during the second half of an NFL preseason game between the Tennessee Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs on August 31, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 08: Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (76) during the NFL AFC West division football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs on December 8, 2016 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 15: Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (76) and teammates run onto the field before the AFC Divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs on January 15, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 02: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif #76 of the Kansas City Chiefs in action during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 2, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 20: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif #76 of the Kansas City Chiefs and Jarrod Pughsley #60 of the Kansas City Chiefs smile for a picture after the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium on December 20, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Chiefs defeated the Ravens 34-14. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
May 25, 2014: Offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (76) speaks with the media during the Kansas City Chiefs rookie minicamp at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Moffett/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 06: Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (76) warms up before the AFC Wild Card game between the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs on January 6, 2018 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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The hero Duvernay-Tardif needs 

There is one man out there who has made bending the NFL’s rules as vital to his career as anything he did on the field and he should be Duvernay-Tardif’s next call.

That’s right: Chad Johnson, formerly Chad Ochocinco — also formerly Chad Johnson — is the champion Duvernay-Tardif, and really all football fans, deserve. If the man who changed his name just to get around NFL rules can’t get the lineman the respect from the league that he has rightfully earned, no one can.

Barring that, the NFL can risk losing Duvernay-Tardif to the revived XFL, where creative nameplates aren’t just allowed, they’re encouraged.

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Blake Schuster is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at blakeschuster@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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