Former NFL players who suffer from dementia or other brain injuries may be entitled to payouts under the NFL’s $1 billion settlement of brain injury claims but the league uses a scoring algorithm that requires former Black players to score lower for cognitive skills than their white counterparts to receive an award which has been called “race-norming.”
The settlement is overseen by senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody, who was handed 50,000 petitions on Friday by former Washington running back Ken Jenkins, 61, and his wife Amy Lewis. The petitions call for equality in how former Black football players’ cognitive skills are evaluated in order to get a portion of the settlement.
“Norming by race is not the stance that the NFL ought to take. It continues to look as if it’s trying to exclude people rather than trying to do what’s right, which is to help people that, clinically, have obvious and severe disability,” New York University medical ethicist Dr. Art Caplan told the Associated Press.
The NFL’s scoring algorithm asserts that Black men have lower cognitive skills to begin with and has impeded the ability for former Black players to attain awards from the league’s settlement as they are required to score significantly lower than their white counterparts.