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NFL, Players Agree to End ‘Race-Norming’ in $1B Settlement

FILE - In this May 14, 2021, file photo, former NFL players Ken Jenkins, right, and Clarence Vaughn III, center right, along with their wives, Amy Lewis, center, and Brooke Vaughn, left, carry petitions demanding equal treatment for everyone involved in the settlement of concussion claims against the NFL, to the federal courthouse in Philadelphia, in this Friday, May 14, 2021, file photo. Lawyers for the NFL and retired players filed proposed changes to the $1 billion concussion settlement on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, to remove race-norming in dementia testing, which made it more difficult for Black players to qualify for payments. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The NFL and lawyers for thousands of retired NFL players have reached an agreement to end race-based adjustments in dementia testing in the $1 billion settlement of concussion claims. That’s according to a proposed settlement filed in federal court in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Critics say the use of “race-norming” in the testing has made it difficult for Black retirees to qualify for awards that average $500,000 or more. The proposed changes come after months of closed-door negotiations.

The NFL says the plan would provide “a race-neutral evaluation process” and “diagnostic accuracy and fairness in the concussion settlement.” The league says it hopes Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody approves it promptly.

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