SBJ/April 4-10, 2011/Opinion

‘Forty’ list lacks diversity

How you see it

As an “over 40” sports and entertainment executive, I have been a longtime loyal reader of your publication — one of the leading news resources in the sports industry. So it is with great concern that I offer my thoughts about your lack of diversity amongst this year’s Forty Under 40 honorees (March 21-27 issue).

As one example, although a small number of African-Americans have appeared on your list over the years, I noticed the complete absence of African-Americans on this year’s list. And other groups appear to be underrepresented, as well.

This prestigious awards program should be inclusive, not exclusive, and I question why it does not reflect the full spectrum of diverse talent in our industry. I make this statement while also embracing an appreciation for the credentials of your 2011 honorees, some of whom I know and respect on both personal and professional levels.

Eckhart Tolle once stated that “Awareness is the greatest agent of change.” Always an optimist, it is my hope that your awareness of these omissions will lead to substantive change in the way SportsBusiness Journal — and, in an ideal world, the sports community as a whole — conducts business going forward.

M. Quentin B.L. Williams
New York City

Williams is a former executive with the NFL, NBA and Jacksonville Jaguars. He is the CEO of a New York City law firm and a Los Angeles media company.

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