The NFL announced Wednesday it will cease “race-norming” in its $1 billion brain injury settlement and reexamine previous cases for potential racial bias.
Race-norming assumed Black players began with lower cognitive functioning than their White counterparts, which made it more difficult for them to quality for compensation.
The NFL now says it will develop and updated testing regimen, formed by a panel of neuropsychologists that includes two women and three Black physicians.
“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,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement Wednesday.
Wednesday’s admission by the league is the result of a lawsuit filed last year by former Pittsburgh Steelers Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport, who initially alleged the racial bias by the NFL.
Henry and Davenport said they were denied compensation, but would have approved had they been White.