MLK III Seeks To Buy NY Mets: How Black Ownership Can Diversify The Front Office

January 31, 2011  |  

There’s something about owning a sports team – especially for African-Americans in the last decade. Maybe it’s the fact that the color on the courts and fields don’t exactly match up with the colors calling the shots. Like Chris Rock once joked in his comedy routine, “Shaq is rich, but the white man who signs his check is wealthy.”

As more and more African-Americans are investing in the cool business of a sports team, many are saying they’re investing for the sake of leveling the playing field. Most recently, Martin Luther King III, son of MLK Jr., has announced that he’ll seek minority ownership of the New York Mets. I believe in the merit and American value of creating an example,” King said in the statement, “and if I personally, or as part of a collective, can advance the vision of a more diverse ownership group in professional sports, domestically or internationally, then, like my father, I am prepared to act in that spirit.”

Although there have been very few African-American owners in major league baseball, there are a handful of notable ownerships in other sports. Michael Jordan owns the Charlotte Bobcats, BET founder Sheila Johnson co-owns the Washington Wizards, NHL team Washington Capitals, and WNBA team Washington Mystics and Venus and Serena Williams are investors in the Miami Dolphins.

Although these lucky few may not all institute demands for diversity in the front office, it certainly goes without saying that having a Black owner will, no doubt, change the politics that usually determine staff appointments.

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