A federal judge on Friday approved the NFL’s concussion agreement with former players that will end the use of race norms and demographic estimates based on race for scoring diagnostic tests.
The issue surfaced two years ago when to former Black NFL players sued the NFL for allegedly discriminating against Black players who submitted claims to the concussion settlement program that was set up in 2015.
Najeh Davenport and Kevin Henry alleged in a lawsuit that the NFL race-corrected their neurological exams, which prevented them from making claims.
U.S. District Judge Anita Brody dismissed the lawsuit and ordered a mediator to address the players’ claims.
The NFL neurological exams assumed that Black players started off with worse cognitive impairment than their white counterparts.
According to ESPN, the settlement allows for Black retired players who were denied payments for dementia can have previous tests rescored.
"We are very pleased that the court has approved the settlement," attorney Cyril V. Smith said. "This is a huge win for Black NFL retirees. We believe that thousands of Black former players will benefit."
According to the NFL settlement program summary report released earlier this week, 2,078 of 3,322 monetary awards have been paid for early to moderate dementia (level 1.5 and 2 claims).More than 920 claims in those categories have been denied, for various reasons. NFL parties have paid out more than $944 million as part of the program.