NBA Comes Up Aces in Gender and Race Hiring Practices

The league’s combined grade of 92.2 is higher than any other professional sports league.

Posted: 06/18/2011 02:16 PM EDT
Filed Under NBA

LeBron James, NBA

The NBA just finished a season in which it received high marks for its play on the basketball floor.


But apparently that isn’t the only place the NBA is making the grade. The University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports released its annual report card Thursday and the NBA earned its highest ever combined grade for race and gender with a 92.2. The previous high was 91.5 received in 2010.


For this year, the NBA received an A-plus in hiring for race and A-minus in hiring for gender. Amazingly, 42 percent of the professional positions held in NBA offices were held by women, while 36 were held by people of color.


The NBA, which boasts two African-American CEOs, has the best grade of any other professional sports league, to the report.


"They've consistently had a record of opening up the search process so it includes a diverse group of candidates, and I think that's helped more than anything else,'' said Richard Lapchick, who is chair of the DeVos Sports Business Management Program at UCF and director of The Institute for Diversity of Ethics in Sport. "I think they just want to continue to get better.''


The numbers are certainly impressive but still not quite in line with the talent the NBA places on the floor. The study found that 83 percent of the players are people of color and 78 percent are African American. None of the players, of course, are women.


At the beginning of the 2010-11 season, there were nine African American head coaches and one Asian.


Contact Terrance Harris at or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris

(Photo: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)