Former Saints DB Steve Gleason to Be Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

Former Saints DB Steve Gleason to Be Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

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Story Courtesy of Bleacher Report

Former New Orleans Saints defensive back Steve Gleason will receive the Congressional Gold Medal on Jan. 15, per the Associated Press.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor that can be awarded by the United States Congress.

The Saints announced on December 20, 2018, that Gleason would eventually receive the Gold Medal, but a date was not revealed at that time.

Gleason, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2011, began the Team Gleason foundation soon afterward to help people also suffering from the disease.

Per the foundation's website, "Team Gleason has provided almost $10 million in adventure, technology, equipment and care services to over 15,000 people living with ALS and countless others through advocacy, support and ultimately bringing an end to the disease."

Gleason, who played for New Orleans from 2000-2006, is best known on the field for his punt block for a touchdown during the New Orleans Saints' first game back at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome after Hurricane Katrina touched down in August 2005.

New Orleans played its 2005 home games in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; San Antonio, Texas; and even East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Their first game back occurred in 2006 versus the Atlanta Falcons, when his blocked punt early in the first quarter directly led to a Curtis DeLoatch touchdown. The Saints won 23-3 and eventually went to the NFC Championship Game after going 3-13 the year prior.

The moment is now captured in a statue called "Rebirth" outside the Superdome.

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