Retired Black Players Criticize NFL for Biased Brain-Injury Payouts
By admin - June 16, 2021

Football injuries are no joke, especially when it comes to head trauma. Those are more long-lasting and can affect players in their later years. Here are the highlights:

  • It’s been a controversial thing in the world of thousands of retired Black professional football players due to a thing called “race-norming”, which determines what players are eligible to receive payouts for brain injury claims.
  • The players believe this to be a discriminatory act. Actions have been taken, such as former Washington running back Ken Jenkins, 60, and his wife Amy Lewis delivering 50,000 petitions demanding equal treatment for black players to Senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody in Philadelphia, who’s overseeing the $1 billion settlement. 
  • Former players who suffer from dementia or other diagnoses can be eligible to receive a piece of the settlement. The NFL insists on using a scoring system for dementia testing that assumes Black men start on the lower scale of cognitive skills. They have to score much lower than whites, which is an issue that’s been swept under the rug since 2018.
  • Jenkins is tired of the same song and dance of Black folks having to undergo convoluted deals. He’s an insurance executive and doesn’t experience the cognitive issues that a lot of his peers go through.
  • While Brody threw out a civil rights lawsuit on how this may be a discriminatory practice, she later said this practice does raise “a very important issue.”
  • Class counsel Chris Seeger has said through his spokesman, that he wants to end this practice of race-norming. Additionally, he’s investigating any claims that may impact a physician’s decision. If an adjustment has been inappropriately applied, he’ll get on board to fight for black players to get things rescored out of fairness.
  • While race-norming may have started out as a beneficial thing, it’s grown to help the people in power to save money. The long-term effects may be parents hesitant to allow their kids to play football because of the dangers and not getting compensated for anything post-football career in case of lasting brain trauma.