SBD/Issue 34/Sports & Society

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  • MLS Earns "B+" Grade In '09 Racial & Gender Report Card

    Univ. of Central Florida (UCF) Institute for Diversity & Ethics in Sport Dir Richard Lapchick in his '09 MLS Racial & Gender Report Card gave the league a combined "B+" grade, scoring 86.5 points, up from 85.7 points in '08. The league earned a third consecutive "A"  (92 points) for racial hiring after receiving "A" grades in the categories of MLS League Office, players, head coaches, team president/CEO and team professional administration. The 92 points for racial hiring practices marks the second best grade in men's pro sports following the NBA. MLS earned a "B" for gender hiring practices in '09, up from a "C+" in '08. The league also received an "A+" for gender in the MLS League Office in '09, though it received a "C-" in team senior administration. The league received an "A+" for diversity initiatives. The percentage of minorities in the league office was 43%, flat from '08, while 48% of league office staffers were women, a 6% increase from last year. The league in '09 had three team presidents/CEOs who were Latino or Asian, marking the highest percentage of minorities as CEOs or presidents in any professional sport. Among the 42 total team VPs, there was an increase in the number of women from two to three in '09, as well as an increase in the number of Latinos from one to two. There were no African-American or Asian VPs in '09 (UCF). Lapchick noted MLS "a number of years ago ... made a commitment they would really address this, and they adopted a number of diversity initiatives" (AP, 10/20).

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