Four members of Congress sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday questioning the league's formula for paying concussion payments to former black players.
Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) And Cory Booker (DN.J.) and Representatives Yvette D. Clarke (DN.Y.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) Signed the letter to issue a statement for a Breed Get Formula for Payments as it was designed and used.
"If these claims are correct," the letter referring to a lawsuit filed last month against the NFL reads, "the algorithm that was used to alter the results of your cognitive assessments seems to cause black player rejection – historic disadvantaged and legally. " protected group – compensation to which they would otherwise be entitled. This would raise serious questions about the NFL's commitment to racial justice and compliance with federal law that provides equal protection. "
Wyden, Booker, Clarke and Waters urged the NFL to immediately stop using the formula.
"We urge you to immediately discontinue the use of racially-based algorithms in assessing cognitive impairment until a full independent review can determine that they do not have the effect of withdrawing compensation from the black players owed," they wrote . "In the meantime, we also urge you to review the previously denied claims made by the black players to assess whether or not the denial was racial."
Brian McCarthy, spokesman for the NFL, said the league would respond to the inquiry from the four members of Congress, referring to a recent statement by the NFL in response to a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania on behalf of former players Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport Black.
"The August 25 lawsuit is completely false," the NFL statement said. "The settlement program, which has already paid retirees and their families over $ 700 million in benefits, was the result of extensive market-based negotiations between the NFL and the class council that were approved by the federal courts after a thorough review of their fairness and always remembered to use accepted statistical techniques to account for demographic differences such as age, education and race, and contrary to the claims made in the complaint, the purpose of such adjustments is to ensure that individuals are treated fairly and compared with peers Groups, however, the Settlement Agreement does not require any special adjustments and leaves its use at the discretion of the independent clinicians performing the tests in a particular case.
"The NFL remains committed to paying all legitimate claims and providing the important benefits our retired players and their families deserve."
The settlement fund has so far paid approximately $ 720 million to retired players for issues related to NFL concussions, including more than $ 300 million for dementia cases. Henry and Davenport attorneys said in court records that their clients were denied awards but qualified under the white male grading system.