Minorities, women losing ground in sports: report

Report a "disappointing reversal" from 2001 results, says author

A report published out of the University of Central Florida shows minorities and women are losing ground when it comes to jobs in professional and college sports.

Richard Lapchick, a sports sociologist with the university’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, said there is a long road ahead to achieve “fair play” in sports.

The report studied players, coaches and front office employees of the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS) and U.S. college sports.

The findings include:

•Minorities lost ground in most of the top management positions, including general managers, team vice-presidents and college athletic directors, since the last report issued in 2001.

•The percentage of black men playing continued a 10-year decline, with the exception of college and pro basketball and college baseball.

•The percentage of players born outside the U.S. continues to grow in MLB, the NBA, NFL and soccer.

•Women held less than 45 per cent of the head coaching positions for women’s college teams.

Lapchick called it a “disappointing reversal” from the 2001 report, which showed marked improvements in the hiring records of both race and gender. He has been tracking gains and losses in sports for 14 years.

But the news isn’t all bad. The report showed an all-time high of 24 head coaches and managers who were minorities in the three biggest professional leagues — the NFL, NBA and MLB. And Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder and CEO Robert Johnson was awarded the new NBA franchise for Charlotte, N.C., making him the first black majority owner in professional sports.

The report issued grades for the different leagues based on overall patterns in society. For example, since 24 per cent of the U.S. population is classified as minorities, than a league with 24 per cent of positions held by minorities would get an A. Here are the overall grades handed out by the report:

•Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA): A-

•NBA: B+

•College sports: B





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