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President Trump signs legislation to award Steve Gleason with Congressional Medal

Gleason is the first NFL player to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
Credit: Jonathan Bachman
Former New Orleans Saints Steve Gleason, who has ALS, is seen before a game between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 26, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

President Trump has signed into law legislation to award former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason with the Congressional Gold Medal.

The Senate unanimously passed the bill in June before Trump signed it into law Thursday, Jan. 3. Gleason, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011,  has provided assistance to people with neuromuscular diseases through his Team Gleason Foundation. He has also advocated for federal legislation for people living with diseases like ALS to have access to speech-generating devices as well as other tools they need to thrive. Gleason is the first NFL player to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

Senator Bill Cassidy tweeted about the news Wednesday saying, “Now we will work with @TeamGleason & USMint to design the medal and schedule the ceremony to #HonorGleason for later this year. Can’t wait!”

“It is a true honor to witness Steve Gleason become the first New Orleanian and former NFL Legend to receive the Congressional Gold Medal,” said Saints Owner Gayle Benson. “Along with his wife, Michel, and everyone at Team Gleason, they have unfailingly confronted ALS with a courageous and unwavering determination. Their tireless work to provide crucial assistance and the latest in technology and services has improved countless people’s quality of living. Steve is leaving a truly indelible mark in American history and we are honored to call him a true New Orleans Saint.”

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor Congress can bestow.