The Racial and Gender Report Card (RGRC) is the definitive assessment of hiring practices of women and people of color in most of the leading professional and amateur sports and sporting organizations in the United States. The report considers the composition – assessed by racial and gender makeup – of players, coaches and front office/athletic department employees in our country’s leading sports organizations, including the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), as well as in collegiate athletic departments.
The National Football League matched last year’s best-ever grades by scoring its second consecutive A grade on racial hiring practices and its second consecutive C on gender hiring practices. This gave the NFL a combined B grade.
Here are some of highlights of the report:
- The percentage of white players increased slightly from 30 percent in 2009 to 31 percent in 2010, while the percentage of African-American players remained at 67 percent.
- In the League Office, as a result of both hiring and promotions, the total number of diverse employees at or above the VP level increased by 30 percent, from 20 in 2010 to 26 in 2011. The number of female employees at or above the VP level increased by 36 percent, from 11 in 2010 to 15 in 2011. The number of ethnically diverse employees at or above the VP level increased by 44 percent, from nine in 2010 to 13 in 2011.
- League Office initiatives included the creation of a Women’s Network, Diversity Accountabilities and Diversity Training.
- Overall, the percentage of professional staff in the League Office who were people of color increased from 24.7 percent to 25.2 percent. Women made up 27.6 percent of the professionals, up slightly from 27.5 percent in 2010.
- No person of color has ever held majority ownership of an NFL team.
- Amy Trask of the Oakland Raiders remains the only female president/CEO of a team in the NFL, a position she has held since 2005. There has never been a person of color serving as president or CEO of a team in the history of the NFL.
- There were eight people of color as head coaches at the start of the 2011 NFL season. That is an all-time record for the NFL. Five of the six African-American head coaches in 2010 remained in their capacity at the start of the 2011 season. Mike Singletary was fired by the San Francisco 49ers at the end of the 2010 season. For the 2011 season, the Oakland Raiders hired African-American head coach Hue Jackson, while the Minnesota Vikings hired African-American head coach Leslie Frazier. Also, the Carolina Panthers hired the NFL’s only Latino head coach, Ron Rivera.
- The NFL started the 2011 season with five African-American general managers for the fifth consecutive season. One of the five, Jerry Reese, became the first African-American general manager to win a Super Bowl when the New York Giants won in 2008.
- When Pittsburgh won the 2009 Super Bowl, Mike Tomlin became the second African-American head coach to lead his team to a Super Bowl championship in three years. Tony Dungy coached the Indianapolis Colts to a victory in the 2007 Super Bowl.
- Seven out of the last 10 Super Bowl teams have had either an African-American head coach or general manager: coaches Tony Dungy (Colts), Lovie Smith (Bears), Mike Tomlin (Steelers, twice) and Jim Caldwell (Colts) and GMs Jerry Reese (Giants) and Rod Graves (Cardinals).
- The number of female vice presidents on NFL teams remained at 25. Pamela Browner-White of the Philadelphia Eagles remains the only woman of color to hold a vice president position on an NFL team.
- People of color held 16 percent of senior administrator positions on NFL teams in 2010, compared to 17 percent in 2009. The percentage of the total senior administrator positions on NFL teams held by women increased to 21 percent in 2010 from 17 percent in 2009.
- The percentage of women in professional administrative positions increased 1 percentage point to 29 percent in 2010, marking the third consecutive year it was recorded below 30 percent.
- Latino and African-American radio and television broadcasters both decreased for the second consecutive year. Latinos decreased from 16 percent to 13 percent, while African-Americans decreased from 11 percent to 8 percent.
The Racial and Gender Report Card is issued sport-by-sport. The National Football League Racial and Gender Report Card follows the Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and Women’s National Basketball Association studies and is the fourth report issued in 2011. The NFL Report Card will be followed by Report Cards on Major League Soccer and College Sport. The complete Racial and Gender Report Card will be issued thereafter.