Benson makes massive donation to Gleason’s ALS efforts

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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.

22 responses to “Benson makes massive donation to Gleason’s ALS efforts

  1. First down and 31 to go, pass that sign-up sheet for another gain. This is easier than football which only gives you a max of 4 downs to convert a cause. There’s safety in numbers, and perhaps a cure.

  2. Ok Tom Benson, making some classy moves. What with keeping the NBA in New Orleans, and now shelling these beaucoup bucks to Steve Gleason. If you can make Drew Brees stay in New Orleans after he retires, I’d say your image is completely restored since that 2005 fiasco, oh yea we have not forget.

  3. That’s stepping up, big-time. Way to go, Mr. Benson. Horrible disease. I had a co-worker lose her father to it.

  4. Gleason and his family are facing a terrible disease with courage. Good for Benson, being generous and recognizing the strong ties within a team organization.

  5. This is what happens when a team is so heavily entrenched in its community. Those outside of New Orleans (perhaps Louisiana) really can’t understand what it’s like to be a member of the WHO DAT Nation. The Saints as an organization feels the same way about New Orleans and the fans, which is why the relationship is so functional and beneficial to all involved.

  6. Wow!
    ALS is finally being seen for the terrible disease it is.
    Bravo Mr. Benson.

  7. Lets reflect on the contrast:

    Saints owner Tom Benson


    Clippers owner Donald Sterling

  8. Beautiful! Steve Gleason if fighting a brave fight to help others, with no self pity. Loads of admiration for both Steve Gleason and Tom Benson…

  9. If Benson is trashed for all his past faults, he should be praised for good stuff like this.

  10. Those who haven’t seen the Steve Gleason episode of A Football Life should watch it, just to see what people with ALS go through. Wishing the best for Mr. Gleason and his family, it’s a horrible disease to deal with. My hat’s off to Mr. Benson, class move.

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