A highlight from NFL Plans to End Race-Norming in Concussion Claims: What Happens Next

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Is espn ryan. I'm so excited. Talk to you today. Thanks so much coming back on the show absolutely happy to be here. So we last talked in february when you had shared your reporting on former nfl players who had filed for compensation over concussions. They'd sustain during their time playing in the league. Their claims in your reporting were denied or disputed and race was a factor in that decision. Yeah pablo the way it works is when a player believes that he is sustained head injuries while playing in the resulting factors have led to some sort of ailment dementia trouble thinking functioning the nfl concussion. Settlement program has a process where they apply get looked at by neuropsychologist and then that neuropsychologist goes to a claims administrator insists. I believe this person's entitled to an award for their care or maybe not so the problem here is we uncovered in our reporting was part of the methodology that these neuropsychologist were using was something called race morning. It's also called demographic adjustments the idea is the neuropsychologist is looking at this player evaluating the claims. But they're looking at a particular lens that takes into account age education but also race the way it played out in the analysis was to look at a black player and a white player before they even step on the field as if the black player has a lower cognitive level than the white player that inherently made it harder for them to prove that they're ailment was worthy of compensation it appeared that the doctors believed that it was required but the nfl was saying it was recommended and to make it a bigger issue the nfl. These awards were given to particular black players. The nfl was appealing and saying you didn't apply these race norms. These demographic adjustments that include race in some of those cases those claims then being denied after the nfl appeal ryan v administrators of this massive legal settlement and the nfl itself They maintain that the process for filing claims was appropriate that includes allowing doctors to use race. Norman their evaluation and it allowed the nfl to appeal the claim if doctors did not use it so explain what their position has been up until very recently so y'all think of it in terms of their position you have to think of it as in terms of win the settlement agreement happened. This is back in two thousand and thirteen and part of what class council the person representing the players in this crissier told me was back then. The use of these demographic adjustments for age education race it was designed as a tool for neuro psychologists to get a better understanding of the person who just walked in their office but where it gets very interesting. Pablo is over time. What was supposed to be a diagnostic tool ended up being for many critics of discriminatory tool right right and so now ryan in the light of day. The nfl has changed. Its stance so as of now. What is the league saying. They're going to do the statement they're making now is. We're going to get rid of this. We're gonna do all. We can to try to get rid of this but there are also considering alternatives as to what to use in its place and the nfl and the class council who represents the players. They still have to come to an agreement on all of this and that becomes another critical issue. So we'll dive into the future of this in a second here ryan but i want to understand better. What exactly happened to get us to this point of a new wreck neck. One of the key figures and all of this who's been outspoken. Now about the claims process. Being unfair is christopher seeger. So explain who he is and what's happened with him so. Christopher seeger is class council for the former players who negotiated the concussion settlement program with the nfl. He was selected number of lawyers by judge. Anita brody who presides over this entire case and he negotiated the settlement with the nfl and back then and he. He made the point of. Hey it's not perfect but this is a great deal. You're not gonna hear me tried to claim that it's perfect. It's the result of litigation and nothing that comes out of litigation is perfect but it's good even told me the expectation initially was there might not be any settlement between the nfl and former players and he ended up getting close to a billion dollars so he saw this as a real success. But part of the institution of all this was how to analyze these claims which included this aspect of race. now what becomes interesting about chris. Seeger was a couple of months ago when we started doing this reporting and all of this came to light. Chris seager made it clear that he did not see evidence of discrimination. We sense that something was happening on this but when we saw it case by case did not have the impression it was going on systemically. There's no evidence of that at this point but it happened more than a few times and that outraged many former black players who looked at it. Like hey i filed the claim and my claim has been rejected. I need money to survive for my medical care. And you who's representing us doesn't see any evidence of discrimination are not willing to fight on our behalf so chris told me to sit down exclusively with us that looking back that he was wrong i was wrong. A full appreciation of the scope of the problem. He shouldn't have reacted so quickly that he didn't fully understand the issue at the time and that once he started digging in he did see that something was wrong here and it needed to be eliminated. You know when you you know everything. Sometimes you don't but closer. I look the more. I realized that this had to go talking about raising. So he says he's in the process now of reviewing all these claims that have come up in the past. That might all worming to see what needs to happen with them. I need to conduct an investigation. Which i'm in the process of doing and if that results in me having scored every single claimed again especially where race norman was applied. I will fight to have that done. So mr seager has in

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