Patriots’ Patrick Chung and Giants’ Nate Solder to Put Family First, Chooses to Opt-Out of 2020 Season
Patriots safety Patrick Chung and Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder are two of the handful of NFL players choosing to opt-out of the 2020 NFL season. And as the athletes and fathers revealed the decision was made with their children in mind.
On July 29, Chung talked with CBS This Morning to explain why he made the decision to forego playing in the 2020 season. The 3-time Super Bowl champion told the news station that “of course it was a tough decision. You want to play football. I’m at the latter end of my career so you know I wanted to play football.”
However, when it comes to family or money, Chung chooses family. As he told CBS This Morning, his girlfriend is expecting a baby girl in a few months, his son has asthma, and his father is 75 years old. It was all of those factors combined with the added threat that he could contract COVID-19 while playing the sport he loves that led him to this particular decision.
“I just felt like this was the best decision for my family to keep everyone safe,” Chung said. “It’s not over. It’s just postponed a little bit.”
Chung admitted that there was nothing the NFL could have done differently in terms of precautionary measures that would have made him change his mind. “It’s more about people have different situations and different families. I just happened to have a certain situation where I had to make the best decision for my family.”
And while Chung didn’t get into the specifics of his conversation with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, the safety said Belichick understood.
Similarly, Giants Tackle Nate Solder also opted out of the season for the sake of his family.
Solder, who used to be Chung’s teammate, revealed that he will be sitting out this season due to his young son’s battle with cancer. In a tweet, Solder explained his decision.
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“My family and I have been praying, wrestling and listening to God about our current circumstances and whether it is best to play football this season. Our primary goal is to pursue God and listen to the Holy Spirit in everything we do. As hard as that can be and as daunting as what He asks us to do can seem, we have come to believe, trust and wait on the Lord. This is why we have chosen to pause for this season,” Solder began his statement.
“Our family has health concerns, most notably our son’s ongoing battle with cancer, as well as my own bout with cancer. We also welcomed a new addition to our family this spring, a baby boy. With fear and trembling, we struggle to keep our priorities in order and, for us, our children’s health and the health of our neighbors come before football. We fully recognize that being able to make a decision like this is a privilege.”
As Solder concluded his statement, the athlete admitted that he will miss his teammates this year, but also thanked them, his friends, fans, and family for their ongoing support during this difficult time. “As scary and bleak as it sometimes can be, we know that the God of the universe has all things under His control, and His plans are and will always be for our good.”
According to CBS Sports’ “opt-out tracker” 30 players have decided to sit out this season. The team with the most opt-outs is the Patriots with six total.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people's lives.
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