Judge approves NFL concussion deal amended over ‘race-norming’


A new plan finalized on Friday will allow retired Black NFL players who were denied money for dementia claims to resubmit those claims and potentially tap into a concussion settlement distributed by the league.

A Philadelphia judge approved the plan via an order filed on Friday, The Associated Press reported. It could give thousands of retired Black football players the chance to get a roughly $600,000 relief payment via the NFL’s $1 billion settlement account for concussions and related injuries.

The NFL had been accused of systemic racism over its use of so-called race-norming in its dementia testing, which assumed Black people had lower cognitive scores, thus making it harder to prove symptoms.

Because of the rule, some retired Black players were denied payments despite suffering multiple concussions throughout their careers. About 3 in 10 claims for dementia have been denied, according to the AP.

Kevin Henry, a lineman for eight seasons in the NFL, was denied a relief claim despite suffering from mild to moderate dementia.

“They come out with all these slogans like ‘We care’ and ‘Black Lives Matter,’” Henry told The Hill last year. “And I’m sitting there, like, you’re lying. You’re lying out of your teeth. It’s so painful to sit there and watch, knowing that you know something totally different.”

In October, as outrage grew over the use of race-norming, the NFL said it would halt the practice.

The judge’s decision on Friday finalizes the new concussion settlement agreement.

The NFL has paid out around $800 million through the settlement, and is expected to add another $100 million to the account under the new plan, according to the AP.

Tags Concussion Concussions dementia testing NFL NFL Concussion settlement Race-norming racial bias relief claims systemic racism
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