Last week, the NFL announced its intention to halt the use of “race-norming” — a controversial practice in which the league assumed black players started out with lower cognitive functions than players of other races when allocating settlement funds. The league also has promised to review past scores to see if there has been any potential racial bias.
As part of the payout process in a $1 billion settlement of past brain injury claims by former players, the practice has allegedly made it more difficult for black players to prove cognitive decline from brain injuries suffered from hits to the head during their playing careers. The NFL has previously stated the practice was up to the doctor’s discretion and was optional.
And while the promise by the NFL is a step in the right direction, it does not change the fact that retired black players have been unfairly judged on a different cognitive scale for years.
Retired NFL player Jack Brewer spoke with The Daily Wire, and was irate with the league.
“For the league to always take the side of the vision to divide everyone in the name of righteousness, they try to take the high road by posting BLM … any holiday, black history month, they want to be the first ones out there projecting to the world that they’re about righteousness, equality and fairness,” Brewer said. “But then in their own business practices, they’re willing to go back into pre-Jim Crow era garbage like this.”
“Imagine using this type of system to warrant whether a guy is worthy of getting compensation from concussions. You’re going to scale us like we’re some monkeys or something and don’t understand how to comprehend? This stuff is bad news. When you talk about racism, this is the definition of racism.”
The topic of “race-norming” was first brought to attention last year when two former players — Najeh Davenport and Kevin Henry — filed a civil rights lawsuit accusing the league of “explicitly and deliberately” discriminating against black players.
“If you’re black, they’re just assuming you have one level and if you’re white, you got a whole different level,” Brewer told The Daily Wire. “So, what they’re saying is if they see a decline in a white man, he started off smarter. Where if they see a decline in a black man, they’re saying that he was already stupid. I don’t know about you, but I had my master’s degree before I went to the NFL. That’s a slap in my face.”
“I wear sunglasses because I’m sensitive to light because I’ve gotten concussions from the NFL. So, all of a sudden you make me into this person that I was already on mental decline,” Brewer continued. “It’s crazy and I think of some of my boys who are way worse off than I am. It’s almost like they’re treating us like experimental monkeys or something.”
When asked how he would like to see the NFL make up for their past transgressions, Brewer said he wants more than just the admission of guilt regarding race-norming.
“First off, admitting that anything pre-2010 or 2011, that you weren’t even diagnosing concussions when they were happening. Come out and go ahead and say that,” Brewer said. “Say that we were getting knocked out on the field, taking smelling salts, and you were telling us we didn’t have concussions. If you say that and admit to that, we can accept it. But the fact that you lied to us as our doctors, as the people that were literally hired and that we trusted — we trust our doctors.”
“If you tell me I don’t have a concussion, I’m going to keep playing as if I don’t have a concussion. And so now when we look back in hindsight, we know exactly what they were doing, but to come in and try to cover this up and to put in these prehistoric protocols into the system, to where you’re taking our intelligence levels and literally saying that we were born dumb anyway. I’m not okay with that.”
The hypocrisy of the NFL is too much for Brewer. The NFL has been synonymous with the social justice movement ever since Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016. In a May statement, the NFL addressed the anniversary of George Floyd’s death by stating “The work for equitable justice must continue and the NFL and its clubs are proud to work alongside NFL players to build a more just society.”
“You’re covering it up while you’re claiming to be the poster child of racial justice,” said Brewer. “That’s where it goes overboard. You’re trying to go out here and promote that your brand and this shield is the poster child of racial equality — and behind the scenes — you’re trying to literally steal billions of dollars of compensation as owed to African-American players by categorizing us like we’re monkeys.”
According to NBC News, more than 2,000 former NFL players have filed dementia claims, with fewer than 600 receiving compensation. 379 players with early-stage dementia have averaged $516,000 compensation, while 207 players with moderate dementia have received an average of $715,000.
“I’m gonna tell you right now, I don’t want a dime from the NFL. So I’m going to make that clear again …I don’t want a dime from the NFL. I don’t need their money, but I know a lot of guys that do. I’m fighting for them.”
“I am irate. I think that is embarrassing,” Brewer continued. “I think the fans and anybody who watches the National Football League should call a spade a spade — call them as they are — because this is the definition of systematic racism. If the left is looking for systematic racism, they can go right into New York City to the NFL offices because allowing this to happen, that’s exactly what this is.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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