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NFL Players Receives Workers Compensation

2 NFL players have received Workers Compensation benefits from being injured while working as a NFL player.

Gabe Reid was awarded $325,000 after suffering a right knee injury while playing for the Bears from 2003-2006, according to a Chicago Tribune report last week.

It is the largest workers comp settlement for a pro athlete in the state of Illinois, an attorney told the newspaper.

Mr. Reid is an unrestricted free agent, but has not played in the NFL since the Bears released him in 2006.

The state agency also awarded former All-Pro safety Mike Brown, who led the Kansas City Chiefs in tackles last season, $140,000 after he suffered leg and foot injuries during his time with the Chicago Bears, according to the Tribune.

This information has spread like wildfire and many are outraged that players in the NFL, often with very large paying contracts, are drawing on the Workers Compensation benefits.  I am more on the fence.  Yes, many players are paid A LOT of money, but does that waive their rights to receive benefits if they are injured?  I know many workers that are paid better than others based on the “risk” of the job.  For example, Crab Fisherman.  One of the most dangerous jobs.  They are paid a lot of money, based on the intensive labor, and risk involved.  However, they still have access to Workers Compensation benefits if they are injured on the job.  Is there a “magic” number that if you make above “x” dollars that you are not allowed to recieve benefits when injured on the job?     Is it fair to hold different industries, or employees salary to different standards?  Where is this line drawn?

What do you think???

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One Comment

  1. ben harris says:

    this is a tough one. I think pro sports is a different animal than traditional employment…specifically as it relates to the inflated salaries the big-name athletes make. First I believe a player’s medical expenses for sport-related injuries SHOULD be covered by the team on which/he she plays or by the states’ workers compensation. It is the lost time wages that’s a different conversation. I believe that the big name players get paid as much they do because they bring in numerous revenue streams to the organization for which they work. If these guys/gals are getting paid on guaranteed contracts, i.e. getting paid the full value of their contracts whether hurt or not hurt, they should not receive lost time wages if injured. For less well recognized players, that don’t get paid the full vlaue of their contracts if injured, they should certainly be entitled to lost wages when injured. Of course I’ve never written or read a pro athlete’s contract so my commenting on how or whether one should receive workers comp benefits when injured is perhaps silly. Suffice it to say this is a tough call and no matter what side you take on the issue you’re sure to be called for a penalty / foul!

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