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Former NFL player Myron Rolle has gone from tackling opponents on the football field to tackling medical emergencies. According to the Tennessean, the retired professional football player-turned-doctor is helping fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Rolle—once a safety for the Tennessee Titans—is a third-year neurosurgery resident at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. As the number of COVID-19 cases rise, he has switched his focus from elective neurological surgeries to helping individuals infected with coronavirus. “Obviously, neurosurgery is not directly connected to this upper respiratory illness,” the 33-year-old Florida State University College of Medicine alum told the news outlet. “But just like in football, if you’re called to do something different that you weren’t expecting, you adjust. You adapt. We have to meet the challenge, and I’m happy to be able to join the fight.” According to the Boston Globe, there have been over 1,300 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts and over 200 deaths in the state since March 20. Rolle says the life lessons that he learned on the football field have been instrumental in helping him navigate his career in medicine. He believes being an athlete has given him the ability to work under pressure.

This isn’t the first time Rolle has stepped up amid a crisis. After Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas, the Rhodes Scholar joined the relief efforts and provided medical assistance alongside individuals from Massachusetts General Hospital’s team.

Rolle says his journey in the medical field connects to the importance of representation. He hopes to inspire Black children to pursue careers in STEM. “Verified Now that football’s done, the call is to be a great pediatric neurosurgeon one day, God spare life,” he posted on Instagram. “But an equally important call is to stand as a representation for young black boys and black girls to see themselves in this journey – achieving more, dreaming bigger and reaching higher. Sometimes it just takes a little push to get the next generation going. And if we’re able to provide that, then that makes life worth the living! They’re up next!!”

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