NFL Vow To End 'Race-Norming' Holds Civil Rights Lessons

By Andrew Melzer, Rebecca Ojserkis and Lucy Zhou (July 12, 2021, 5:36 PM EDT) -- In August 2020, former NFL players Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport filed suit in Pennsylvania federal court challenging the use of "race-norming" to systematically disfavor Black players who submitted claims on the billion-dollar NFL concussion settlement.[1]

In the field of neuropsychiatry, race-norming — also known as Heaton norms[2] — is the use of broad demographic data and trends to adjust the results of cognitive testing. This controversial practice has received heavy criticism.[3]

On behalf of themselves and a class of Black former NFL players, Henry and Davenport alleged that race-norming was being used in the claims administration process to artificially reduce...

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