Hundreds of Black NFL retirees denied payouts in the $1 billion concussion settlement now qualify for awards after their tests were rescored to eliminate racial bias.
Changes to the settlement made last year are meant to make the tests race-blind. The use of “race norming” in the dementia testing made it more difficult for former Black players to prove they had the kind of cognitive decline that qualifies retired players for awards that average $500,000 or more.
Nearly 650 men have had their dementia tests automatically rescored, according to a report released Friday by the law firm handling claims against the NFL. The retirees had met the other criteria for a successful claim, which includes hours of validity testing to show that their daily lives are significantly impaired and that they are not malingering.
Fifty-one now qualify for moderate to advanced dementia awards, which vary based on condition and years of play. Nearly 250 show signs of early dementia and will receive up to $35,000 in enhanced medical testing and treatment. All of them initially failed to qualify because of the race-norming issues in testing.
The new test results will add millions to the NFL’s total payout