File #: 210146    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 2/18/2021 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 2/25/2021
Title: Calling on the National Football League to discontinue the practice "race norming" in their concussion compensation program.
Sponsors: Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Gauthier, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Bass, Councilmember Gilmore Richardson, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Brooks, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Parker
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 21014600, 2. Signature21014600
Calling on the National Football League to discontinue the practice "race norming" in their concussion compensation program.

WHEREAS, The concussion compensation program is a National Football League (NFL) program that allows for retired players to submit claims if they are experiencing negative medical repercussions due to head injuries sustained while playing in the NFL. A player might be entitled to compensation if their mental and cognitive functions have been severely and negatively impacted; and

WHEREAS, The concussion program's manual recommends the use of a "full demographic correction," in which a player's cognitive test scores are compared to average scores, or "norms," for similar demographic groups, and then adjusted to account for expected differences in age, gender, education and race; and

WHEREAS, The practice of adjusting test scores for race, commonly known as "race-norming," has long been used in medical fields as a supposed safeguard against misdiagnosis. However, the practice has been increasingly rejected within the medical profession for the racist assumptions that underly it and the racial disparities that result. "Race-based norms are not scientifically sound or fair," observes Bruce Miller, MD, the director of the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco; and

WHEREAS, In a recent investigation by ABC News, a neurologist re-evaluated the results of cognitive tests from a group of Black former players. Of 80 usable data points, 34 of them met the criteria to receive payouts through the program if the neurologist interpreted the test scores as if the individuals were White. When the "race-norming" demographic corrections were applied, only 10 of those same players qualified for the payout; and

WHEREAS, The true impact of these practices cannot be known as the NFL has repeatedly denied requests to release demographic data on program payouts, making it difficult to determine whether race-based...

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