About 40 New Orleans Saints players — including quarterback Drew Brees — entered the Louisiana House on May 27 to oppose a bill they feel would have adversely calculated workers' compensation for athletes. House Bill 1069 by state Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, was pulled off the floor after Brees took the stand.
"It shows how important workers' comp is to us, especially as it pertains to Louisiana workers," Brees told the House. "Just know how much pride we take in playing in the state of Louisiana representing our community."
The bill — which had the support of Saints owner Tom Benson — would have calculated earnings for workers comp at the rate of current earnings rather than future wages, e.g., players in training camp vs. players entering the full season. If a player was injured in the off- or pre-season, he would be excluded from "regular season" compensation benefits. The bill faced strong opposition from the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) — its former president, Ken Mawae, wrote in a statement that the bill is a "malicious and underhanded attempt to eliminate" injury benefits. Current NFLPA president Eric Winston said the bill is "nothing more than greed."