League Now Committed To Elimination of Race-Norming In Cash Payouts
There was Big News late last week involving the ongoing NFL concussion settlement program in Philadelphia.
The NFL in a statement announced that it was committed to eliminating race-based norms which might affect payouts to black alumni in the program. The league also stated that “…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.”
At the same time, concussion class attorney Chris Seeger apologized for the pain that race-norming has caused black alumni and their families. He added that his focus now is on eliminating the “race norms” in the claims process and rescoring claims where they were applied.
A discrimination lawsuit that had been filed by two Steelers alumni against the league was dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody last March. The players had alleged that the use of “race-norming” to adjust cognitive test raw scores of black players seeking concussion settlement monetary awards made it more difficult for those alumni to qualify for payments. The league in defending that suit had stated that race-based adjustments have been “widely used in the neuropsychological community” and added those adjustments were “fully discussed” in the 2015 settlement agreement.
Although Judge Brody dismissed the players discrimination suit in March, she wrote that her court “remains concerned about the race-norming issue” and ordered the NFL and Mr. Seeger to “address the concerns relating to the race-norming” before a Magistrate who has handled previous disputes in the Settlement Program.
We at NFL Alumni will continue to update you on developments in this uncapped settlement agreement, including any changes made as a result of the statements by the league last week.