Many of Steve Gleason’s fans might have thought that the former New Orleans Saints player was done with high-profile victories after he retired from the NFL in 2008.
But this week’s congressional honor for Gleason is a reminder that he’s still fighting — and capturing the hearts of a grateful nation.
Members of Congress, who rarely agree on much these days, voted to award Gleason the Congressional Gold Medal, one of America’s highest distinctions, in recognition of his work to help the disabled. Gleason has ALS, a degenerative neurological disease that affects muscle movement. Through his Gleason Initiative Foundation, the athletic star has assisted many others who are struggling with physical limitations.
Gleason is best known for his blocked punt against the Atlanta Falcons in the team's first game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. His performance affirmed the resilience of a region rebounding from devastation.
Gleason’s valiant struggle with ALS has proven even more inspiring. We congratulate him on his honor, which reflects well on him, the Saints, and a state that counts him proudly as one of his own.