nfl $1 billion settlement
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The NFL has reportedly reached a $1 billion settlement in regard to claims of brain injuries.

The NFL has settled one of the biggest issues facing the league in recent years.

In a $1 billion settlement of a brain injury suit, the NFL has reportedly pledged to stop “race-norming” — the practice of assuming Black players begin with lower cognitive functioning which, in turn, made it more difficult for them to qualify for any sort of award within the settlement.

The league will be reviewing past scores to determine if any racial bias previously took place. A panel of neurologists was launched to create and suggest a new testing process.

Retired Steelers Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport had filed a civil rights lawsuit over race-norming.

Former NFL running back Ken Jenkins (played for Philadelphia, Detroit, and Washington from 1982-86) along with his wife, Amy, provided 50,000 petitions to senior US district judge Anita B. Brody (Philadelphia) in May which demanded equal rights for Black players.

Brody was the judge overseeing the league-involved settlement and had initially tossed the lawsuit before requesting a report in regard to the matter. The March dismissal was due to her claim that it was a “collateral attack” on the original settlement.

A league statement provided by NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy reads: “The replacement norms will be applied prospectively and retrospectively for those players who otherwise would have qualified for an award but for the application of race-based norms.”

Dementia claims from now-retired NFL players are reportedly greater than 2,000 — fewer than 600, however, have collected any sort of award.

And those awards have averaged $516,000 for early-stage dementia patients (379 players) and upwards of $715,000 for modern dementia patients (207 players).

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.