NFL dumps race-norming from concussion settlement

Getty Images

The lawsuit attacking the concussion settlement was dismissed. It also has resulted in a resounding victory.

The NFL has agreed that the practice of race-norming will be abandoned from the assessment of claims made under the settlement.

“The replacement norms will be applied prospectively and retrospectively for those players who otherwise would have qualified for an award but for the application of race-based norms,” the NFL said in a statement on Wednesday, via the Associated Press.

In other words, all claims previously made under the concussion settlement will be reopened and reassessed without the discriminatory practice of presuming lower baseline cognitive functioning for Black players, which made it harder for Black players to show that they suffered impairment.

It’s a significant concession by the league, and it’s also the right thing to do. The team-by-team costs of the concussion settlement amount to a drop in the ever-growing multi-billion-dollar bucket. Although the league’s potential liability was made unlimited in order to secure approval of the settlement, the settlement avoided the possibility of what could have been a much larger verdict and the reality of what would have been the disclosure of significant information regarding what the knew and when the NFL knew it regarding head injuries.

The development comes on the same day that lawyer Christopher Seeger, who represents the class of all retired players, admitted that he was wrong to allow race-norming to be utilized in the assessment of claims under the concussion settlement.

22 responses to “NFL dumps race-norming from concussion settlement

  1. The fact that this language was even considered is stunning. Every time I want to believe that race is never a factor anymore, you see something like this. Just sad

  2. There is only one race, the human race.

    Embrace that concept and many, many things get a whole lot simpler.

  3. Someone needed to stand up and say “This race-norming thing is really a bad idea”

  4. As one posted noted above the human race yes is correct. But we are also all different and ethnic backgrounds are different as well. Ignoring it and simply noting we’re all human doesn’t fix the problems races have in their own cultures and between cultures and colors.

  5. Oh my God. I hope that the person who suggested this loses their job. Like yesterday.

  6. This whole issue is a prime example of the systematic racism that a lot of you claim doesn’t exist.

  7. It should not apply in the educational arena either. Scholarship awards, grade curving,grants, etc should not be affected on this basis either.

  8. I’m dumbfounded learning about this for the first time. This has really been a thing? It’s 2021. Just wow.

  9. I don’t usually give the NFL a lot of credit, but the swift action they took to get rid of that clause in the settlement and reopen all past cases is a good first step.

  10. The ignorant person(s) who came up with this course of action should be made to live with the individuals who received brain injuries due to the game and made to give them reparations from their own pocket…..

  11. Yes, let’s get rid of any kind of educational awards based on this, but first, all school districts across the nation MUST be given the same financial assistance in order to make sure everyone has equal access to educational resources.

  12. i don’t see how this would stand as being constitutional in any court. how has this never been challenged?

  13. It’s stunning that some owners originally put this language in. I’m guessing all NFL owners are white so it would be hard to trace which one or more were behind this original language.

  14. Any time people are treated unequally because of their race, an injustice occurs.

  15. “Norming” based on languages spoken, gender and race has been part of studies for years including NIH studies on brain injury. It may or may not have medical value (it’s far beyond me to know). However, it is absolutely disgusting to use as part of a settlement over debilitating brain trauma. I don’t see how anyone would think this is fair, reasonable, or anything but disturbing.

  16. First, this is surprising but not really surprising at the same time. But also, how did no one in the NFL front office think this wouldn’t be exposed at some point? It’s arrogant, highly stupid and incredibly racist.

    This is not a “someone should be fired” thing, there were a bunch of people involved in this, and who approved this feature of the settlement, who should be held accountable. The NFL will, of course, sweep this under the rug, but there should be repercussions for this.

    How can anyone argue that this is not a prime example of systemic racism? Why would anyone want to defend it? Stop trying to deny reality.

  17. “I don’t usually give the NFL a lot of credit, but the swift action they took to get rid of that clause in the settlement and reopen all past cases is a good first step.”

    Talk about having your head in the sand. This settlement has been handled HORRIBLY from the very beginning and this is the just latest problem to surface. Numerous former players all have the same complaints: Their doctors tell them they’re a slam dunk to qualify only to have their applications rejected. Sometimes they finally get their benefits on appeal, sometimes not. Frequently their paperwork gets “lost” multiple times. It’s a total disgrace how the NFL was handling this from the start and this just makes it all the worse.

  18. I’m black and didn’t know this was happening. I’m usually not surprised by these kind of things, especially when its a corporarion ran by a good ole boys club, but holy hell, NFL, you lowered the bar worse than expectations.

    I really don’t know how I should feel. That’s just unforgivable.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.