Foul! Civil Rights Leaders Push NBA To Increase Diversity In Front Office
Amid the Donald Sterling racism scandal the NBA itself has come under scrutiny. A close look shows that out of 92 teams, there is only one black principal owner.
The lack of diversity in the NBA, as well as in the NFL and Major League Baseball, is outlandish. Blacks play on the field and the court but are not in the boardrooms or ownership boxes. In 2013, 76.3 percent of NBA players were African-American and about 43.3 percent of NBA coaches were black compared. But only two percent of the league’s majority owners are black, according to a report by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. And of the NBA’s 49 majority owners, former baller Michael Jordan of the Charlotte Bobcats was the only person of color, reports FiveThirtyEight.
Now the Rev. Al Sharpton and other civil rights leaders are pushing for increased diversity in NBA front offices and among suppliers, and they have met Commissioner Adam Silver to discuss the issue.
The group of civil rights leaders including Sharpton, National Urban League President Marc Morial and incoming NAACP President Cornell Brooks. They discussed the matter with Silver for more than an hour at the league’s Manhattan offices in a session described as constructive, reports The Grio.
“There must be serious dialogue around ownership and business engagement in the black community,” Sharpton said. “It is offensive that we only have one black majority owner in the basketball area when over 80 percent of the players are black.”
Morial added, “We’re pleased that it appears that they’re on their way out as owners of the Clippers. However, the larger discussion about ownership, supply diversity and the future of the National Basketball Association is what we as civil rights leaders are going to focus on with the NBA.”