What is racial normalization? How the NFL took advantage of the claim that black players have weaker brain capacity

The NFL has said it will stop applying the racial standard to brain injury lawsuits as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce racial prejudice in football.

The controversial practice of racial normalization assumes that black players have a lower level of cognitive function, making it more difficult for these players to bring complaints against the organization.

By applying the racial standard to cognitive testing, the NFL has served the injury claims of black players by essentially claiming that they have limited brain function to begin with.

The league also agreed to review previous brain injury claims that were settled using the racial standard.

The pledge to end breed standardization is part of the payment of a class action settlement worth more than $ 1 billion to settle concussion disputes brought by former players.

The 2017 regulations used so-called racial cognitive norms to assess the extent to which a player suffered from a brain injury, which, in turn, determined the amount of compensation that player would receive.

More than 2,000 former NFL players have filed dementia complaints, but less than 600 have received compensation.

And while it is not known how many of those claims are from black players, or how brain injury awards have been distributed racially, lawyers say about 70% of NFL retirees are black.

What is racial normalization?

Racial normalization is a strongly contested practice in neuropsychology that seeks to recognize the impact of race on cognitive function. It is used to determine cognitive impairment or brain disease while taking race into account.

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