NFL To Drop Race Bias In Concussion Claims

By Adam Roberts – 6/3/2021

The past year has seen a rise in calls for racial and social justice the scale of which hasn’t really been seen before this millennium. Last summer’s racial protests were probably the second biggest story of the year behind COVID, and the conversation has crossed into many areas of our everyday lives, sports included. And with the rise in conversation, old ways of thinking and processes are being challenged.

In line with this, the NFL says it will stop settling concussion lawsuits using a racially-biased formula.

The league was sued by two Black former players who claimed white players had a better chance of winning concussion settlements because Black players were assumed to have lower levels of cognitive function. The two Black players had been refused payouts by the NFL under a billion-dollar settlement for brain injuries, and launched a civil lawsuit over so-called “race-norming.”

The lawsuit was dismissed in March, and a judge ordered the NFL to negotiate a settlement with the players. The league pledged yesterday to halt the use of “race-norming.” The judge also called for a full report on the racial bias allegations, which one of the Black players called “classic systemic racism.”