Of course, the NFL thinks Black men are naturally less cognitively functional than white men.
The NFL has a long and sordid history of f**ks#!t but this one has to rank somewhere near the top. A new report in Newsweek details how the league is using a racist practice to discriminate against Black ex-players who have filed suit against them for brain injuries.
There is a $1 billion settlement fund that the NFL uses to distribute funds to former players who suffer from dementia and other severe brain injuries due to the hits they’ve taken during their time in the league. In order to receive such funds, there is a “scoring system” or algorithm that is supposed to determine how much money a player will be allotted. The Newsweek article details how “race-norming” is used to justify a policy of limiting or denying Black players at higher rates than their white counterparts. The idea is that Black players are already less cognitively functional than whites and thus must score lower on their tests in order to “prove” that they are actually injured.
To call that policy a crock of bulls#!t is an understatement.
U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody was recently given 50,000 petitions demanding equality by 61-year-old former Washington Football Team running back Ken Jenkins and his wife Amy Lewis. The petitions call for ONE standard of “scoring” that will eliminate the racist policy and provide Black players the same assistance as white players. It’s 2021 and even by the bar-is-in-hell NFL standards, it is insane that we are even having this conversation. But you can’t really expect much from a league that hid all the medical information from the players in the first place.
“Norming by race is not the stance that the NFL ought to take. It continues to look as if it’s trying to exclude people rather than trying to do what’s right, which is to help people that, clinically, have obvious and severe disability,” New York University medical ethicist Dr. Art Caplan told the Associated Press.
This heinous practice wasn’t picked up on until sometime in 2018 but now that it has been exposed to the light of day, ex-players are not going to stand for it.
“My reaction was, ‘Well, here we go again,’” said Jenkins, a former running back. “It’s the same old nonsense for Black folks, to have to deal with some insidious, convoluted deals that are being made.” Jenkins is now an insurance executive and is not experiencing any cognitive problems, but has plenty of NFL friends who are less fortunate.
The Newsweek article is both revelatory and infuriating and we highly suggest you read the whole thing in its entirety by clicking the above link.