Richard Gordon, owner of Gordon Law Offices, testified Tuesday against a provision that would end disability benefits for professional athletes at age 35.
The provision is part of Senate Bill 12 and went before the Illinois Senate Executive Committee for discussion this week. Gordon and Joe Briggs, a lobbyist for the NFL Players Association, spoke out against the provision, saying it unfairly singles out professional athletes as ineligable for compensation if injured.
The bill would most negatively affect athletes who make less than $100,000 a year, says Gordon, including players for men’s and women’s pro soccer teams and players on minor-league hockey and baseball teams. Ultimately, the provision segregates one class of Illinois workers and implies that professional athlete don’t deserve the same protection from dangerous jobs as other workers.
“This law draws an arbitrary line that says, ‘Over here, we will protect you, but if you are over here, if you are a professional athlete then we will treat you differently,'” says Gordon in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. “That’s not what the equal protection cause of the Illinois state constitution is about.”
Senate leaders said after the testimony that they would be willing to review the provision.
To read more about Senate Bill 12 and Richard Gordon’s testimony, read the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s coverage here.