Mike Tomlin, of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is one of three African-American head coaches in the NFL. (Photo: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
The NFL has received an A grade for diversity in its hiring practices for the fourth consecutive year, in the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport's annual Racial and Gender Report Card.
But concern still remains as the league entered the new year with only three African-American head coaches: Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Leslie Frazier of the Minnesota Vikings. The NFL also received a C+ for gender hiring practices.
In January, the league's eight open head coach positions all went to white men. The number of women at or above the VP level increased by 18 percent, from 17 in 2012 to 20 in 2013, according to the report.
"At the league office, the example is being set for the teams by continuing to make improvements in the hiring of women and people of color in senior positions," said Richard Lapchick, director of TIDES, in the report. "Diversity initiatives, such as diversity management training, can help change attitudes and increase the applicant pool for open positions," he continued.
The league received an A+ for its wide number of diversity initiative programs including the NFL Diversity Council, Women’s Interactive Network, and the Junior Rotational Program.
The report also highlighted that the number of African-American general managers between 2012 and 2013 remained at six. Also Ozzie Newsome became the second African-American general manager to win a Super Bowl when the Baltimore Ravens won in 2013.
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