As the settlement of the concussion lawsuit languishes, one NFL owner is breaking out his checkbook to help a player whose ALS possibly traces to head injuries sustained while playing football.
Saints owner Tom Benson has donated a whopping $5 million to Steve Gleason’s planned Team Gleason House for Innovative Living. The New Orleans facility will allow 18 ALS patients to be as close to independent as possible, where the patients’ eyes will control everything in the room.
Gleason told King that the former Saints special-teams standout would like to build a similar facility in every NFL city. (Note to owners in every other NFL city: How about kicking in $5 million to the cause?)
“Steve is part of our Saints family,” Benson told King. “He suffers from a terrible disease but yet his focus and resolve is centered around finding a cure for ALS and helping others who suffer from ALS live full and prosperous lives — and he is doing that right here in his adopted hometown of New Orleans. We could not be more proud of him and [wife] Michel and Team Gleason.”
Gleason’s journey has been courageous and inspiring and humbling. His determination has changed the way many view ALS, and it hopefully will cause others who are diagnosed with the disease to make an immediate and ongoing commitment to Team Gleason’s “No White Flags” motto.
“If someone is going to be behind finding a cure for ALS, it’s going to be Steve Gleason,” Benson said.