Saints legend Steve Gleason to receive Congressional Gold Medal
NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans Saints legend and ALS awareness advocate Steve Gleason will receive the highest civilian honor Congress can bestow, the Congressional Gold Medal.
The House of Representatives unanimously approved the award on Thursday. The next step will be for President Trump to approve it next year. He will be the first former NFL player to receive the award.
Gleason made his mark on Saints history in the team's first home game vs the Atlanta Falcons following Katrina in 2006. The safety blocked a punt that became a symbol of recovery for the hurting city.
In 2011 the former football player shared his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He became an advocate for the disease raising millions of dollars through the well-known Ice bucket Challenge.
His foundation, Gleason Initiative Foundation is pioneering efforts to develop and provide technology to help ALS patients.
U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy along with many others are supporting the bill.
Former @Saints star Steve Gleason has changed so many lives for the better through @TeamGleason. I’m proud we passed legislation to award him the #CongressionalGoldMedal. He will be the first @NFL player in history to receive the medal. #HonorGleason #ALS pic.twitter.com/uukAdRbOz4— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) December 20, 2018
“It is a true honor to witness Steve Gleason become the first New Orleanian and former NFL Legend to receive the Congressional Gold Medal,” said Saints Owner Gayle Benson. “Along with his wife, Michel, and everyone at Team Gleason, they have unfailingly confronted ALS with a courageous and unwavering determination. Their tireless work to provide crucial assistance and the latest in technology and services has improved countless people’s quality of living. Steve is leaving a truly indelible mark in American history and we are honored to call him a true New Orleans Saint.”