Naomi Osaka making the decision not to talk to the press after games, during the Roland Garros tournament, citing her mental health as one of the reasons, started a conversation that I hoped would get us closer to what we have pretended to do in recent years: acknowledge the humanity of athletes regardless of their fame, success, and get real about the role we play in making those spaces unsafe for them. It didn’t. Instead, it showed me how far we still have to go and how far off target we are when directing our displeasure.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2021/06/07/protect-your-mentals-and-your-chickens/
I always advise caution when former players ask me if I think they should participate in this study or that, and I usually say, “NO.” The reason for that is that most of the studies I’ve been asked about were either sponsored or funded by NFL and/or NFLPA. I think of this similar to a Miranda violation with no warning where your data will most likely be manipulated and used against you and others.
That said, there are a few reputable studies that I’d encourage participation in. I have great regard and admiration for the work that Boston University and Concussion Legacy Foundation have done in advancing our knowledge of CTE, and how it relates to football exposure. Two new studies are getting underway; one by BU and the other by Johns Hopkins, endorsed by Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2021/04/11/two-reputable-nfl-player-brain-studies-getting-underway/
How can any message the NFL sends on social injustice be taken seriously when they endorse a policy in the Concussion Settlement that presumes African Americans are inferior to Caucasians? A recent study done by a law firm indicates that 3.4 TIMES as many African American players might qualify for an award if race norming [the inclusion of race in score calculations for Level 1.5 and 2.0 claims] was removed from the Settlement.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2021/02/11/a-black-brain-is-worth-1-3-of-a-white-brain-a-racist-settlement/
On Monday a new federal class-action lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of Illinois, that seeks to recover benefits lost by disabled retired NFL players in the 2020 CBA.
To review, in a series of questionable moves, benefits for disabled retirees were deemed subject to a Social Security offset beginning in January 2021, and then in April 2024, the elimination of approval through Social Security determinations to be replaced solely on determinations by Disability Plan doctors and the Disability Board. In case you’re just now getting up to speed on these events, prior to Congressional Hearings in 2007 addressing the dismal approval rate for NFL Total and Permanent Disability and pressure from Congress, to do better, one had nearly as much of a chance of winning the lottery as being approved for NFL Disability.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/11/23/new-lawsuit-seeks-to-halt-cuts-to-nfl-disability/
I first began following the Gordon case over two years ago in June 2018, though at the time I was unaware of the player’s identity. I became aware of the case when attorney, Wendy Fleishman of Lieff Cabraser objected to the inexplicable denial of Amon Gordon’s thrice approved claim…
As it turned out, the excruciating delays for Gordon and his family turned out to be a gift in that all of the lag-time allowed Fleishman to investigate and find her own answers as to the question of “Why?” since the Claims Administrator, Special Master, and Court refused to provide the basis of their denial. Perhaps now we know why they evaded– because the explanation is highly disturbing.
Amon Gordon is Black.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/10/26/nfl-concussion-appeal-argues-one-door-for-white-players-another-for-blacks/
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear who the real governing bodies in college athletics are. Despite how much the NCAA pretends to have overarching, sweeping, oversight of every member nationwide when it comes to athlete-employees being compensated for their labor, it’s the athletic conferences that NCAA-member institutions belong to, not the NCAA, that really runs college athletics.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/07/20/amended-complaint-could-force-ncaa-to-actually-fulfill-its-duties/
I’d like to thank Shannon Cason for being our first guest contributor to our new column on race, called “The Conversation.” Please give it a read. If you’re interested in contributing and helping to keep “The Conversation” going, please DM me on twitter @SheillaDingus or shoot me an email.~Sheilla
I am biracial, I grew up in Louisiana …still a state that operates like a plantation. When I was two, I went to daycare for the first time with mixed races. One particular day my mom picked me up and one of the workers (black) told my mom I thought I was white and wouldn’t play with the black children. Odd because most of the children in my family are brown-skinned.
I grew up very aware of the racial divide. Black and white people went to the same schools but didn’t intermingle much.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/06/17/the-conversation-growing-up-biracial-in-the-deep-south/
On Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law SB 646. The law has several tenets which work to ensure that the state is now an agent of the NCAA and its member institutions to the detriment of the best interests of college athletes in Fla. It adds the force of law to keep athletes in a subjugated position in their relationships with Fla. colleges and universities.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/06/15/floridas-new-nil-rule-turns-the-state-into-an-agent-of-ncaa/
On Tuesday, Rutgers University announced the findings of an independent review of its softball program. While the report largely substantiated the allegations against head coach Kristen Butler and members of her staff by several athletes, it did not recommend the Scarlett Knights athletic department take any disciplinary action against Butler or any of her staff.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/06/04/rutgers-one-questionable-judgement-call-leads-to-another/
Black athletes carry the weight of the Heritage with them. Others, especially white ones, do not, and it has been yet another way privilege has shown its face and given cover to them. They still have that luxury right now, to not say anything about the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA, as he was jogging through a residential area and given chase by a trio of white-armed vigilantes, Breonna Taylor (shot 8 teams in her own home) and George Floyd (choked to death in the streets) at the hands of police, in Louisville, KY, and Minneapolis, MN, respectively, but if/when they do stay silent, they are, for the first time, at this grand a scale, being called out for it. More have spoken up this time around but a whole lot more still haven’t. And it’s not just white athletes, it is also the coaches (college and pro), GMs, owners, commissioners, media, heads of corporations. They are on notice: we will remember those of you who said nothing and more importantly those of you who did nothing.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/06/03/do-black-lives-really-matter-to-you/