N.Y. Giants' Nate Solder Opts Out of Season amid Son's Cancer Struggle
"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 comes before football," Nate Solder said in a statement
New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder will be sitting out of the 2020 NFL season amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, citing his family's "health concerns."
Solder, 32, made the announcement on Wednesday, saying in a joint statement with his family shared on social media, "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," the statement read.
"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," the father of three said. "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 comes before football."
Solder's son Hudson, 5, was diagnosed with rare Wilms tumors in his kidneys in 2015, when the boy was just three months old. He underwent surgery to have one of the tumors removed last year and had his third round of chemotherapy during Solder's 2019 season, according to Boston.com.
As for Solder, he underwent surgery for testicular cancer in 2014 when he played for the New England Patriots.
In his statement on Wednesday, Solder acknowledged his "privilege" in being able to sit out the upcoming season and said that he will "miss" his teammate and coaches.
"As scary and bleak as it sometimes can be, we know that God of the universe has all things under His control, and His plans are and will always be for our good," he concluded.
Currently, the NFL is offering players that are considered high-risk for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) the opportunity to opt-out of the season. Players who choose the option will receive a $350,000 stipend for the season and their contracts will be tolled until the following season, according to the league. These players will also receive an accrued season toward free agency and benefits and salary credit for a credited season.
Players who aren't considered high-risk but voluntarily opt-out of the season will receive a $150,000 salary advance and their contract will toll as well.
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Any player who chooses to opt-out of the 2020 season is required to inform their team within seven days of the deal being finalized.
Several athletes have since chosen not to play in the upcoming season, including Kansas City Chiefs' Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Dallas Cowboys' Maurice Canady, Seattle Seahawks' Chance Warmack, Baltimore Ravens' De'Anthony Thomas and New England Patriots' Danny Vitale.
Washington Football Team's Caleb Brantley was the first player to elect the high-risk opt-out option for the season.
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