Friday, September 9, 2022 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 10, 2022 – 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.



Webcast via Zoom Technology Continuing Education Credit:
Missouri -12.6 hours includes Elimination of Bias credit
Kansas - 12.5 hours
Nebraska - 10.5 hours includes 2.5 Prof. Responsibility
Iowa - 10.5 hours includes 2.5 Ethics and 2.5 Diversity

Cost: $100 CLE credit attendees. Free for non-credit attendees, students, faculty & staff.


UMKC Professor of Law


The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, Kansas City Athletics, and other institutional and independent partners are sponsoring The Arc of Race in Professional & Collegiate Sports.
The symposium will focus on a range of issues surrounding
race and other identity characteristics in professional and
collegiate sports industries, including race norming
and NFL Concussion Settlement & Claims Process, the In-
tersection of race & gender in mental health of profes-
sionals & collegiate athletes, race norming in medical
treatment & clinical diagnostics and Race Norming in
Medical Treatment & Clinical Diagnostics and its Impacts,
the Intersection of race and gender in professional and
collegiate sports hiring, Will Race and Gender Effect
which Student Athletes Profit from their Name,
Image and Likeness?, and the Dilemma
of the Families of Former NFL Players who Died
with CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy),
Although Exhibiting Neurocognitive
Impairment of CTE, are Without Remedy.
The issue of race continues to be at
the forefront of our nation’s conscious and,
with the celebration of the 50-years since
enactment of Title IX, so does both gen-
der equity racial gender equity.


Vice Chancellor // Director of Athletic

Friday, September 9, 2022

7:45 a.m.                    Webcast Access Join Day One Webinar

8:15 a.m.                    Welcome: UMKC Law School Dean Barbara Glesner Fines

8:30 - 10:00 a.m.        Race Norming and Sports Concussion Litigation including NFL Concussion Settlement & Claims Process

Professor Kenneth D. Ferguson, the panel moderator, will be joined by panelists Professor Tracie Canada, Ph.D. Sandi Isaacson, Ph.D., and attorneys J.R. Wyatt, J.D., and Cy Smith, J.D. for a discussion of the Further Implication of Race Norming and Sports Concussion Litigation including NFL Concussion Settlement & Claims Process. Panel discussions will no doubt begin with the NFL Concussion Settlement which became final and effective on January 7, 2017. Although hailed as a “historic settlement” because it was uncapped and included more than 12,000 retired NFL players, the settlement was marred with an unacceptable flaw. The Settlement implemented a formula (i.e., race-norming) that discriminated against Black retired players. In effect, Black retired players were treated as having worse cognitive functioning than White players (in their pre-morbid stage). As a result, if a Black player and a White player receive the exact same score on a battery of neurocognitive tests, the Black player is automatically assumed to have suffered less impairment, and therefore often does not qualify for monetary compensation.

Seeing the obvious injustice, two of our panelists,  and several law firms led by Cy Smith and J.R. Wyatt, launched an attack against the NFL and the Settlement, seeking to remove race-norming.  They were successful and the Settlement was modified to remove race-norming. However, Professor Tracie Canada, Ph.D., a sports anthropologist, and pioneering research demonstrates the premise upon which race norming depends is “the belief that race is a binary, biological concept, and therefore that differences in Black bodies and minds are not only existent but quantifiable. But they’re wrong on all accounts: race norming is an inherently anti-Black form of scientific racism that is evidence of slavery’s afterlife.”

Neuropsychologist Sandi Isaacson, Ph.D., will give a brief overview of the complex role of demographic “norms” in psychological testing from their use in equalizing access to educational opportunities to adversely affecting players in the current NFL settlement.

10:00-10:15 a.m.        Break

10:15- 11:45 a.m.    The Intersection of Race & Gender Mental Health of Professionals & Collegiate Athletes

Moderator: Dr. U. Diane Buckingham, M.D.

Join Moderator Dr. U. Diane Buckingham and panelists Melissa Lewis, Ph.D., Dr. Meg Gibson, M.D., and Dr. Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D. for a discussion of the intersection of race, gender, and cultural issues in diagnosing and treating patients experiencing mental health conditions.  It is important to discuss the role of racism and misogyny in sports. In sports, vulnerable and targeted populations have a very different experience in these environments than those in privileged populations. It may be important to note this history and the increased work that has been done recently towards equity in some sports and how that may lead to improved mental health and accessibility to some sports that were/are not always welcoming to ethnic and racial minorities. Mental health professionals who consider issues surrounding culture, race, and gender may be crucial to delivering effective mental health services to professional and collegiate athletes enabling them to improve their adaptative responses to stressors and educating professional and collegiate coaches and their professional staff on meeting the needs of their athletes.  While therapy is important, dismantling the oppressive organizations and systems that cause mental health stress for diverse athletes is a critical first step.

11:45- 12:15 p.m.      Lunch Break on your own

12:15- 1:00 p.m.        KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Deron Cherry, Kansas City.

1:00-2:30 p.m.           Race Norming in Medical Treatment & Clinical Diagnostics and its Impacts.

Moderator: Valerie E. Chow, M.D.

The panel moderator, Dr. Valerie E. Chow, along with panelists  Kristin Kaplan,  J.D., Shook Hardy & Bacon and Dr. Bridgette Jones, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine will discuss Race Norming in Medical Treatment & Clinical Diagnostics.  Panelists will examine whether the neuropsychological field (relied on by the NFL) is not alone in applying different standards to black and brown persons, women, and other cultural groups.  The panelists will explore the prevalence of race norming in other fields, including clinical research,  medicine, and medical clinical diagnostics and treatment, and its impacts on the availability of medical treatments and differences in standards of care for Blacks and other people of color. 

2:30 – 2:45 p.m.         Break

2:45-4:00 p.m.           The Intersection of Race and Gender in Professional Sports Hiring

Moderator: Professor Mikah Thompson, J.D.

The panel moderator, Professor Mikah Thompson, along with panelists  Professor Jerimi Duru, Jennifer Hunter, Esq. (Sr. Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) for the Portland Trail Blazers, Dr. C. Keith Harrison, Ed.D., and Dr. Vincent Key  will discuss issues surrounding the Intersection of Race and Gender in Professional Sports Hiring.  Panelists will examine whether Women, Blacks and other minorities are losing ground in professional sports employment, whether the current status quo reflects trends toward greater diversity or a process of reversal. 

Professor Jerimi Duru’s discussion will focus on the lawsuit filed by Brian Flores, former Mimi Dolphins’ head coach against the NFL and three other NFL clubs. After his termination by the Dolphins Brian Flores was subjected to a sham interview with the New York Giants.   Over twenty years earlier, threatened litigation prompted the NFL to institute several equal opportunity initiatives – including the controversial Rooney Rule – and these initiatives seemed to promote diversity in head coach and general manager hiring.  Flores’ lawsuit, however, indicates legal scrutiny may be necessary to push the NFL toward true equal opportunity. 

Sr. Director of DEI for the Portland Trail Blazers, Jennifer Hunter, J.D. will enlighten us on NBA’s history of and continued leadership in hiring of minorities and women in professional sports and what other organizations may learn from the NBA’s success.

Dr Harrison will expound on his work as the principal investigator of the NFL'S annual good business, occupational mobility report on the hiring process and best practices for inclusive hires in terms of race and gender intersections. Harrison has co authored these empirical studies with Scott Bukstein from 2012-Present. 

4:00 p.m.                    Adjourn


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