NFL vows to end ‘race normalization’ policy that assumed black players ‘had inferior brain function’

Indeed, politics have made it more difficult for black NFL players to demonstrate a decline in their brain health that may have been triggered by a career on the grill when they made league claims.

The policy has been in place in the NFL since the 1990s, when it was created to allow for more robust treatment of dementia patients – but critics of the plan have opposed it, saying it has had an impact. negative on the ability of black players to claim compensation in concussion cases.

The NFL announcement comes after two black players filed a civil rights complaint in connection with the practice, while medical experts also announced their opposition to the policy. In addition, a petition launched by a group of NFL families addressing the case collected more than 50,000 signatures and was handed over to a Philadelphia court after the lawsuit was dismissed by a judge.

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 » Words are cheap. Let’s see what they do« Said former NFL player Ken Jenkins, whose family was involved in instigating the petition that was launched in support of several former players who are said to have brain health issues after an NFL career. .

The NFL, for its part, said it has trained a new group of neuropsychologists to oversee the problem, which includes two women and three black doctors.

 » Replacement standards will be applied prospectively and retrospectively for players who would otherwise have qualified for an award without the application of race-based standards.« The NFL said in a statement on Wednesday.

Lawyer Christopher Seeger, who has negotiated settlements with the NFL in the past, said this year he had not seen any instances of racial bias in previous cases – but withdrew those comments this week.

 » I’m sorry for the pain this episode caused former black gamers and their families,  » he said.  » Ultimately, this rule only works if the former players believe it, and my goal is to regain their trust and ensure that the NFL is fully held to account.. « 

The NFL had also noted that the policy was designed « Stop bias in tests, not perpetuate them » – but he had also previously appealed settlement cases if a medical professional’s judgment on a player had not been adjusted to indicate his race.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport, who both filed a lawsuit, were turned down after an investigation but say they could have claimed financial reward under their circumstances had they been white.

The latest figures show that more than 2,000 former NFL players have filed claims following diagnoses of dementia, but only about a quarter of those claims have been successful.

A previous settlement issued by the NFL averaged $ 516,000 for players with dementia precocious and $ 715,000 for those with moderate dementia. At the time, that essentially ended a string of thousands of individual lawsuits that argued that the NFL had deliberately withheld information regarding potential brain health risks that can often come with an NFL career.

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