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.”