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For Immediate Release
August 9, 2021
Contact:  Dr. Amy Lewis
240-461-138
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NFL Players To Ask DOJ for Inquiry into Civil Rights Violations by the National Football League (NFL)
            Washington D.C.—A small group of retired NFL players will gather at the entrance to the Department of Justice on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, to deliver a formal complaint requesting that Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke,  investigate Civil Rights violations taking place within the NFL Concussion Settlement that was to compensate retired NFL players suffering from various degrees of brain injuries incurred during their football careers.
 
            After years of litigation, a settlement with the NFL, negotiated by Class Counsel Christopher Seeger became finalized in January 2017.  At the heart of the Settlement is a program designed by experts retained by Mr. Seeger and NFL Counsel that Seeger has referred to as “state of the art” and “best of the best.”  In a December 2016 article in the New York Times, Seeger said that players who were already diagnosed with a compensable disease should see checks within weeks, but many of those players are still waiting, over 5 years laterespecially Black players suffering from dementia that was supposed to be compensated through the settlement for those with existing diagnoses, and the program engineered by Seeger and the NFL that in practice more closely resembles a mechanism for denial rather than compensation.

          Black players with dementia have found it nearly impossible to qualify for an award in the settlement, but until a lawsuit was filed by Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport last year, no one knew why.  From the lawsuit, players learned for the first time that “race norms” had been used under the premise that Blacks start out with lower cognitive function than Whites.  This means a White player and a Black player could have the very same cognitive test scores, but only the White player would be compensated after applying the race adjustment to the Black player’s test scores.
Class Counsel Christopher Seeger has been aware of the use of race-norms for at least two years following an appeal in 2019 that quietly in off-docket filings exposed the Civil Rights violations taking place, but Seeger denied there was a problem through as late as March 2021.
               The group headed to the DOJ, was organized by a group of wives of former players, many of whom are caregivers to their husbands, and they will petition the Justice Department to investigate how this was allowed to occur.  For inquiries, please call Dr. Amy Lewis at 240-461-1384.
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