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Volume 22 No. 31
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Voices of Diversity: David Kelly

General Counsel and Vice President, Basketball Management and Strategy, Golden State Warriors
Photo: Courtesy of Golden State Warriors

Your opportunities in sports: Often diverse candidates just need an opportunity to make an impression. While working as an attorney at Katten Muchin Rosenman, my mentor, Jerry Penner, provided me with an opportunity to work on matters for his sports clients. Without him opening the door, it would have been exceedingly difficult to create meaningful relationships with influential sports executives.

Opportunities missing in sports: The sports industry has embraced diversity on the court, but needs to fully transfer that same acceptance to the front office. Too often hiring decisions are made from a pool of candidates who have a prior relationship (either direct or via a referral) with the executive making the hiring decision.

Champion of diversity: Rick Welts is an inspiration and powerful example of diversity in sports. His leadership at GSW provides clear affirmation that, when an organization creates a culture that encourages and makes space for employees to be their authentic selves, then unprecedented business success can follow.