By Richard Johnson
- The NFL will no longer use “race-norming” as part of its $1B settlement
- 2000 NFL retirees (the majority of whom are Black) filed dementia claims, yet less than 30% of them have received any monetary compensation
The NFL announced it will no longer use “race-norming” as part of its $1 billion settlement in assessing how much a player who has reported traumatic brain injuries should receive. The long standing practice of Race norming in the NFL has been a strategy and/or process for statistically adjusting scores to account for the race or ethnicity of the person being scored. Hmmm, I’m sure you already see where this is going, but let’s continue, since more than 2000 NFL retirees (the majority of whom are Black) filed dementia claims, yet less than 30% of them have received any monetary awards.
Why This Matters: The financial wards from the NFL vary by roughly $200,000 for players with early-stage dementia and moderate dementia. In May, a group representing former players delivered 50,000 petitions to a judge demanding equal treatment for Black players.
So, at a fundamental level, by accounting for race, a player can potentially be given a lower award amount because, using their logic, if you had no brains to begin with, then the damage done to your so-called brain mustn’t be as bad, and thus would merit a reduced payout. Ah, I see! Yes, another NF…aiL!
Now let us be clear. Taking race into account is not the problem, it’s the what factor. What is contained in the accounts that are being kept? When accounting for race means “naturally lower cognitive ability” for Blacks, we have missed the mark; no one wants to take the blame and we are left with endless hollow apologies.
Situational Awareness: We are not saying our individuality does not matter, but when the level of interest in the NFL is predominantly Black and so are the players, one can’t help but wonder what was going on in the “brains” of the NFL. Nevertheless, the more we shed light on these issues, the better off we will be. If that last line of hope sounds pitiful, then you are right, because to be honest, my head hurts just thinking about it. The 2021-2022 NFL season kicks off on September 9.
CBx Vibe: “Brain Dead” Moneybagg Yo Feat. Ari