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Brees, NFLPA speak against Saints-supported workers’ comp bill

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The New Orleans Saints are supporting a bill in the Louisiana legislature that would change the way workers’ compensation benefits are calculated. The Saints’ most prominent player is not happy about that.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees has joined with the NFL Players’ Association in pointing out that changing the law could significantly reduce the workers’ compensation benefits players are eligible to receive. The NFLPA wants an injured players weekly workers’ comp benefits to be determined by dividing his annual compensation by 52. The proposed law would limit the player’s weekly benefits based on what he made during the week in which he got injured. Which means that a player injured during minicamp, training camp or the preseason would receive far less in workers’ comp benefits.

“The job of legislators in Louisiana is to protect injured workers and fight for their workers comp benefits, not find ways to support bills like this one which reduce the workers comp benefits we receive when we get hurt,” Brees said in a statement released by the NFLPA. “There is no financial benefit to the state with this bill, only team management. I am disappointed that [bill sponsors] Representative [Chris] Broadwater and [Cameron] Henry would take such a stance against our players and other Louisiana workers. Whether we get hurt during the season or in the preseason, it is all the same. It is in preparation to help us win a championship for our community.”

Others were even more critical. Former NFLPA President Kevin Mawae, who played his high school and college football in Louisiana, said, “This is a malicious and underhanded attempt to eliminate our injury benefits. The legislators who proposed this bill at the request of Saints owner Tom Benson should be ashamed.”

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46 Responses to “Brees, NFLPA speak against Saints-supported workers’ comp bill”
  1. primenumber19 says: May 16, 2014 7:22 PM

    There’s the old benson I remember, not this nice guy trying to save Nola

  2. bennyb82 says: May 16, 2014 7:23 PM

    Brees and the NFLPA are absolutely right. They might get paid each week during the season, but their job requires them to work year-round…unless they don’t want to keep the job.

  3. seanb20124 says: May 16, 2014 7:27 PM

    Maybe the Saints could play their preseason games with their jerseys inside out??

  4. chad504boy says: May 16, 2014 7:29 PM

    Maybe athletes shouldn’t play the game if they are worried about getting rich off of state workers comp

  5. djstat says: May 16, 2014 7:31 PM

    Hmmmmm. So the tax payers have to provide for the upper class?

  6. thestrategyexpert says: May 16, 2014 7:35 PM

    Well the area of worker’s compensation and when you get injured and how and how that relates to the timing you are out of work is a complicated process. To say that all the details are essentially the same is ridiculous. If only laws and issues like this were that simple where everything only needed one sentence coming from Drew Brees to explain everything, then yeah the world would be a remarkably simple place where everything that once was different is simply just the same.

    It undermines the credibility of an argument against this new change if you don’t have a sound way to support your case and you are relying on others to accept that what he says is true, that those time periods and circumstances are the same. I disagree with him and think it’s not the same at all, it’s quite different and should be treated differently depending on the circumstances of the situation. Not to mention he doesn’t seem to understand the job of the legislators who disagree with him as well and think that this bill is in fact part of their job. Is coming up with half-ass arguments part of Drew Brees’ job description?

    I can’t wait for Drew Brees to simplify the insurance and health systems of this country where everything is the same for all situations. But he probably wouldn’t find enough personal profit to endeavor in that so I guess the changes to the system will never happen.

    I’m glad to know that a guy like Drew Brees might have a hit to his finances in the long-run as a result of this change. That sounds like a change for the better because I think there are plenty of people out there who deserve more money in their pockets than Drew Brees does. To me he seems grossly overpaid compared to just about everybody else.

  7. russrpm says: May 16, 2014 7:59 PM

    thestrategyexpert says: “I’m glad to know that a guy like Drew Brees might have a hit to his finances in the long-run as a result of this change. That sounds like a change for the better because I think there are plenty of people out there who deserve more money in their pockets than Drew Brees does. To me he seems grossly overpaid compared to just about everybody else.’

    The truth is that this policy won’t affect Brees or the other highest paid players. They can well afford the hit to their finances. Who it will affect most is the bottom of the roster players, and free agents trying to make the team. A bad injury during off season workouts, or pre-season when the players make very little could be ruinous to someone working on a prove it contract.

  8. ytownjoe says: May 16, 2014 8:02 PM

    Great move Louisiana. After a few serious injuries where players get screwed on their compensation checks, free agents will start to bail and sign with other teams.

  9. pats777 says: May 16, 2014 8:13 PM

    I thought players placed on injured reserve during the season are paid their full contract amount and scrubs hurt in training camp walk with injury split settlements, no?

  10. ken0west says: May 16, 2014 8:15 PM

    When is the last time a billionaire paid his congressmen to sponsor something that was positive for the average person?

  11. snoqualmkanem says: May 16, 2014 8:29 PM

    Ok,
    First the fans get screwed on the price of tickets… not even going into the price of a hot dog or a beer at the stadium…
    If they buy a jersey they get screwed again…

    Drew Brees is making 20 million a year.. (average)
    He most likely has private insurance against injury..
    And he wants the people of Louisiana to support him and his family if he gets injured?
    Is he afraid he might have to beg on the streets for money for a meal?

  12. rmavs says: May 16, 2014 8:34 PM

    Wha???T! And you got how much in guaranteed salary plus signing bonuses?!

  13. rmavs says: May 16, 2014 8:36 PM

    It’s never enough, I guess…

  14. posmoo says: May 16, 2014 8:40 PM

    professional athletes shouldn’t even be covered by workers compensation. it’s ridiculous that they even are.

  15. posmoo says: May 16, 2014 8:52 PM

    the purpose of workers compensation is to take workplace injury, which happens to be fairly frequent, out of litigation so workers and employers don’t develop any additional adverse interests, to keep the courts clear of this stuff, and because common workers don’t have the resources to sue for every minor injury.

    none of these concerns are implicated in a sport where drew brees makes 20 million a year. get these folks out of the regime completely. they’ve got the nflpa to represent them and even the lowest level nfl grunt make 25 times the median wage in this country.

  16. 4thandlonger says: May 16, 2014 9:01 PM

    Don’t like this law at all for the every day person who has variable income.

    But also don’t think NFL players should get state based workers comp. They should have injury insurance either privately or through the team.

    The state doesn’t legislate the working conditions on NFL teams, if they did they’d make the rules on player safety not the commish. They shouldn’t pay bills for millionaire athletes.

    NFLPA have to do their job of looking after their players by getting insurance and guaranteed payments through the NFL teams. But other unions should be fighting this bill hard.

  17. snoqualmkanem says: May 16, 2014 9:01 PM

    Might have to sell a vacation home or two if he gets injured….

  18. snoqualmkanem says: May 16, 2014 9:05 PM

    I agree that the bill is bad on the face of it… it should not even be considered.

    I would think that they could select somebody that may actually be in dire financial straits if they were injured….

  19. tinytoolalldrool says: May 16, 2014 9:10 PM

    The bottom line is this will have a trickle down effect and screw the low wage owners of this state.

  20. thestrategyexpert says: May 16, 2014 9:56 PM

    I understand the counterpoint that asks to look at who this ultimately will affect the most, but the only case being presented here is the one that Drew Brees is offering and he’s not representing the points that others have brought up in these comments, so those aren’t relevant or fair rebuttal points to my rebuttal to what Drew Brees said.

  21. tanstewie says: May 16, 2014 9:57 PM

    This is pathetic…a billionaire owner trying to save a few bucks on wc payments. Brees is right

  22. r0b1b0y says: May 16, 2014 10:18 PM

    Louisiana worker’s comp maxes out at like $600/week regardless of this bills passage or failure….Brees is just focusing on things other than winning again.

  23. gdeli says: May 16, 2014 10:29 PM

    Blank the saints! Love the 2009 vikes

  24. kathleenturnersoverdrive says: May 16, 2014 10:35 PM

    The
    Amount of you guys who dont know how workers comp works is astounding. The state and tax payers do not pay the claims. The insurance company and team do. The insurance commissioner makes the rules the companies must follow.

  25. djachammer says: May 16, 2014 10:49 PM

    This Bill is attacking all the Blue Collar types.
    Most Construction hands work, turn around to turn around.
    Farmers and Fishermen are seasonal.

    It does not matter if they are an athlete or a welder you pay into it. You should get it.

    Besides the more you make the more they take (including Drew Brees )

  26. usm418 says: May 16, 2014 10:59 PM

    C’mon Drew the GOP has to look out for tax breaks for the ultra wealthy. You NFL players are just peons to them. Did you really expect them to do anything that would help the average American?

  27. justsomerandomguy24 says: May 16, 2014 11:08 PM

    Taxpayers aren’t subsidizing Brees… If Drew Brees gets injured, he will keep getting paid because Benson will keep him around for when he gets healthy. If one of their UDFAs blows out his knee, he probably wouldn’t every play again– and probably legitimately needs the workers’ comp.

  28. campcouch says: May 16, 2014 11:42 PM

    how about the average Joe who doesn’t get $120k a week.

  29. ufanforreal says: May 17, 2014 12:09 AM

    Benson sees the writing on the wall, Brees is getting long in the tooth and won’t be long the Saint fans will be back to wearing paper bags so he might as well try to get that money any way he can.

  30. pwcis says: May 17, 2014 1:01 AM

    In a lot of states the “average weekly wage” is capped. That means if you make more than, say, $70k per year, you’re not going to get your full salary while you’re out after a work-related injury. You’ll get a check for ~$900 a week. That’s probably not even worth Drew Brees’s time to go to the bank. There’s also wage continuation plans that many sports teams employ, which negate the need for work comp lost time benefits. You still get medical benefits, and an award when the doc assesses permanent impairment, but that’s also capped at a number that is insignificant to Brees.

  31. revskip says: May 17, 2014 2:19 AM

    I love the misplaced rage at Brees for lobbying on behalf of his teammates and fellow union members. Truth is Brees doesn’t need to stick his neck out for this at all to protect himself, his contract has guarantees for injury and he will be fine financially even if he had a career ending injury tomorrow.

    He should be praised for looking out for the guys on his team and in his union who would not be fine. Bottom of the roster special teamers who may not even make the team but could easily be injured in training camp.

    I get that some unions are corrupt and that the media has vilified the union man so much so that any move a union makes on behalf of its member is seen as a cash grab but the reason unions exist in the first place is because management has never, ever done the right thing on its own. Be it the NFL, auto workers, teachers, police officers, firemen, etc. unions fight to protect the rights of workers against policies that government and corporations dream up to deprive them of basic rights that should be given to workers. Without unions we would all still be sending our children to work in factories for 14 hour shifts for pennies a day.

  32. Savage Lizard says: May 17, 2014 3:10 AM

    Drew “every last nickel” Brees.

  33. macjacmccoy says: May 17, 2014 6:06 AM

    I hate unions and the way they treat average workers like scum just because they werent lucky enough to have a family member already in the union. I especially cant stand them because of the way they protect those who do inferior work just because they are part of their little group.

    Saying that though, I think that every Saints player should band together and collectively agree to skip every team organized event that they aren’t contractually obliged to attend, and continue to do so until the bill is denied or withdrew. That means every voluntary workout or meet and great.

    That bill is a travesty and an attack on workers. The Saints having the loudest voices and really being the only ones with the means to pull it off need to do this. Not just for themselves but for every worker in Louisiana. Even if doing something for those not lucky enough to be in a union goes against everything they stand for.

  34. 700levelvet says: May 17, 2014 6:32 AM

    It’s Drew Breed talking… The worlds biggest hypocrite… What does anyone expect?

  35. macjacmccoy says: May 17, 2014 7:21 AM

    Wow people are talking like just because Brees makes a lot of money he deserves to have money taken from him. He pays his percentage of income into it just like everyone else. In fact he probably pays a bigger portion of his income into it then those who make less money. Why should he get screwed out of something that he has invested a lot of money into?

    I hate this socialist “he’s rich so screw him” thinking that’s plaguing America of late. We use to celebrate success in this country. Now if you do well half of America seems to believe you should no longer qualify for the benefit’s every other member of this nation enjoys.

    You fain wanting equality but you really dont. You want equality that benefits you and the things you believe. But when it comes to things like a rich man getting a service he paid into like everyone else you some how forget the meaning of the word.

  36. bcgreg says: May 17, 2014 7:49 AM

    To all of you who say pro athletes shouldn’t get workman’s comp, I quote former MLB player Pete Incaviglia, who famously said, “Most people think we make millions of dollars when most of us only make $500k.”

    But seriously, the point is is that Brees is not “fighting” for players such as himself. Since he is a union rep, he has to speak for ALL members of the union. In this case, he is speaking for the “bottom of the roster” players who don’t make a whole lot.

  37. mtheparrothead says: May 17, 2014 8:09 AM

    #bringbackourbenefits. Get on it Michelle.

  38. qdog112 says: May 17, 2014 8:12 AM

    Move along, nothing to see here. Anyone can see that any law that actually aids employees, is at odds with the GOP agenda.

    Whether it’s minimum wage increase, pay equity, workers compensation or unemployment benefits, politicians scare the uninformed into thinking that anything that benefits workers, will cost jobs.

    The amazing thing is that it still works, so people vote against their self interest, convinced that some (other)poor person will get something he doesn’t deserve.

  39. pats4win says: May 17, 2014 8:22 AM

    If they pass this, someone on the Saints should get hurt “working out” at the Saints facilities the week they get their bonus check. Weekly bonus payments on say 1 Million… that’s some nice cheddar right there.

  40. mancave001 says: May 17, 2014 8:24 AM

    I don’t know the specifics of the bill, but I suspect it’s more complicated than portrayed. It may be that the intent of the bill is exactly the opposite of what’s being claimed here. For example, what about seasonal workers? It might be advantageous to them if they calculated work comp the “new” way. I do agree it seems to hurt major league sports players . Then again, I don think they rely in work comp in general. Aren’t most contracts guaranteed for injury?

    As for Brees, he annoys me to say the least. He’s always got to stick his nose into things be Mr. Civics. Shut up and play. And for god’s sake, get that stupid scar/birthmark fixed.

  41. kenstabler says: May 17, 2014 8:35 AM

    I think Oprah should create a workman’s comp. reality series for people who actually deserve it.

  42. gobuccs1280 says: May 17, 2014 9:40 AM

    Even if the arguement is for the league bottom feeders Average Americans don’t make in a year what NFL players make in training camp. Players who are trying to make an NFL squad are still compensated fairly well, so their workers comp benefits should still be more than adequate. Football’s dangerous, I would think smart players would probably take out short term & long term disability policies on top of workers comp benefits. Socialized programs like these can only continue to be in place if people are responsisible in their use. This is a fight Drew won’t win.

  43. jetsjetsjetsnow says: May 17, 2014 10:14 AM

    Really a stand up organization the Saints are in that community! Nice way to create a sabotaging environment to the success of your team and a hostile workplace for the relationship with management. Good luck with that..

  44. Slim Charles says: May 17, 2014 10:37 AM

    I love the viewpoint people have where instead of wanting to make their own working conditions better, they want to make those of others worse – that’s the mentality behind being against unions/minimum wage hikes. it’s sick.

  45. kathleenturnersoverdrive says: May 17, 2014 11:07 AM

    This is not a union issue. This bill only affects lousiana workers. Why some of you want to blame Brees for trying yo protect every employee in lousiana is beyond me.

    The only people that this legislation will help is the insirance company. I am sure the saints will benefit because a portion of the work comp is held in escrow becaise of self insured retention.

    If you think this is about greedy rich people you are right but it isnt about brees or millionaire atheletes as much as its about louisiana workers goong to lose benefits that are required under state law.

  46. posmoo says: May 17, 2014 11:55 AM

    it’s like this:
    1. if you earn the same paycheck every two weeks then this legislation does not effect you at all because whenever you get hurt, your salary will always bee the same and thus the workers comp will be the same.

    2. if you are an interment laborer, or have weird schedules like oil workers and other manual labor jobs like working on a fishing boat then this helps you enormously because you earn a lot more any given week you are working than you do if your yearly salary was prorated because the nature of the work is somewhat intermittent. and lets face it, these people working these difficult jobs like roofing or fishing, or on oil rigs are thousands of times more likely to get hurt on any given day of work than you or I desk jockeys.

    3. if you have a sales job and you slip and fall somehow and hurt yourself, then this legislation might help, or might hurt, it’s a crapshoot. depends how well you have been selling lately.

    4. if you are a filthy rich nfl player this hurts if you get hurt in the preseason I guess, but I don’t understand how this jives with injury settlements.

    so in summary, this legislation appears to be very beneficial to the working man.

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