Judge approves fix to stem race bias in NFL concussion deal

Brooke Vaughn, Amy Lewis, Clarence Vaughn III, Ken Jenkins
Posted at 12:28 PM, Mar 04, 2022

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal judge in Philadelphia has approved new rules that seek to eliminate racial bias in the testing and payout of NFL concussion claims.

The revisions approved Friday to end "race-norming" come after an uproar over testing protocols that made it harder for Black retirees to win dementia awards that average about $600,000.

To date, the NFL has paid out, through the fund, more than $800 million, the Associated Press reported.

Over 3,300 former players have been sought a settlement for brain injuries they suffered from during their playing days.

Those with moderate to advanced dementia total more than 2,000.

Those with dementia have fought a tougher battle in the courtroom, with only 3 in 10 claims having been paid out, the news outlet reported.

Retired player Ken Jenkins and his wife, Amy Lewis, have pushed for the changes and hope the Justice Department's Office of Civil Rights will investigate.

The original scoring grid followed those used in medicine to diagnose dementia patients.

Lawyers pushing for the change say thousands of Black retired players could be retested or have their tests rescored.

The AP reported that 70% of current players and 60% of former players are Black, so Senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody's ruling could be significant and costly to the league.