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The NFL has had problems with racism in the past few years. Their response to the whole Colin Kaepernick situation and kneeling for the national anthem was handled so poorly by the league. Now we see them with these performative actions regarding race relations.

They hired Jay Z to help with diversity. They released advertisements during the Super Bowl and throughout last season in helping with black communities and diversity, along with holding workouts to bring Kaepernick back into the league.

It's clear that Kaepernick was blackballed. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that the league handled these situations poorly the past four years. Now we see the NFL changing their ways, but as aforementioned, it seems just for show. 

I am surprised no one is talking about this, but ABC News brought out an explosive report regarding the league and its racism in handling the concussion settlement program. Basically, the league has utilized "race norming" to deny paying out settlements to black players in comparison to white ones. 

Several clinicians fear that the league's protocols in determining who deserves the settlements are discriminatory towards black players. The league measures the cognitive decline of players to determine if they deserve a settlement. 

The result of this has caused some former players, including defensive end Kevin Henry and running back Najeh Davenport, to file lawsuits against the NFL. They say the league is “explicitly and deliberately” discriminating against black players. 

The NFL denies the allegations, of course. But what ABC is showing goes against the NFL's denials:
At the crux of the controversy: the NFL’s concussion settlement program manual recommends the use of a “full demographic correction,” in which a player’s cognitive test scores are compared to average scores, or “norms,” for similar demographic groups, and then adjusted to account for expected differences in age, gender, education — and race.

The practice, widely known as “race-norming,” is in use across several different medical fields as a supposed safeguard against misdiagnosis. But because these “norms” assume that the average Black player starts at a lower level of cognitive functioning than the average white player at the outset of their careers, the former players say, Black players need to show larger cognitive declines than white players to qualify for compensation.
Davenport and Henry showed their frustration with this practice the NFL is using. 
“What the NFL is doing to us right now … when they use a different scale for African-Americans versus any other race?” Davenport said. “That's literally the definition of systematic racism.”

“I just want to be looked at the same way as a white guy,” Henry told ABC News. “We bust chops together, bro. We went out together and we played hard together. You know what I mean? It wasn't a white or Black thing. We lost together. We won together."
As Oregon Democrat Senator Ron Wyden notes, it makes the NFL look like frauds since they have stated a commitment to addressing racial inequality in this country. 
“If ABC’s reporting is true, the NFL has apparently pressured doctors to disqualify Black former NFL players from benefits they earned,” Wyden told ABC News. “Shortchanging former players based on their race is both racist and rank hypocrisy, in light of league’s promises to push for racial justice. The NFL needs to stop trying to run out the clock and finally start treating Black ex-players fairly.”
It adds to the discussion of racism in the medical community in general. The medical world, especially in America, has shown racism in regards to how they treat black patients as opposed to whites. The past, of course, has shown more barbaric and inhumane treatments of black individuals. 

Prior to the Super Bowl last week, Goodell was asked about all of this in regards to Davenport's and Henry's claims, as well as the ABC News report in general. 
Goodell replied that he was aware of the case and suggested the league could "work with" the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where the settlement is being overseen by federal judge Anita Brody, to address the concerns raised in the report.

"The federal court is overseeing the operation and implementation of that settlement, and we are not part of selecting the clinicians, the medical experts, who are making decisions on a day-to-day basis," Goodell said. "And so obviously we'll work with the court, we'll continue to see if there are changes that need to be made, but those will be determined by the court."
I am surprised this news wasn't bigger and didn't make headlines. It's pretty shocking, honestly. I think more of these things need to be exposed, as well as racism in the medical community in general. 

I am currently a law student, and it was brought to my attention in a class regarding Law and Social Change. If it weren't for a good friend and student bringing this up, I don't know when I would have found out about this. 

I believe everyone should read more into these ABC News reports, linked above in the article. I think the NFL and Goodell need to be put more on notice for this.

It makes me wonder how the league would be handling this if more well-known players were involved in the settlement. Unfortunately, Davenport and Henry are not exactly household names as someone like Deion Sanders. 

Had someone like Sanders been apart of this settlement, would the league have looked at this "race norming" and practice differently? Would it be bigger news right now? We all know what the answer is. 

Hopefully, change is brought. What is happening here is not right at all.

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