Richard Lapchick, chair of UCF’s DeVos Sport Business Management Program, was honored Friday by the National Association of Black Journalists for being an equality pacesetter in the sports world.
Lapchick also is director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, which publishes racial and gender report cards showing diversity trends in organizations.
“Our organization decided to honor you because you have dedicated your life to achieving social justice through sports,” the association said. “Among so many achievements, your surveys have scrutinized graduation rates among college athletes. Especially valued by our task force, your surveys also have verified the relative lack of non-white and female sports journalists.”
Lapchick was presented the NABJ Sports Task Force’s most prestigious honor, the Sam Lacy Pioneer Award, at the group’s annual convention in Orlando. Lacy was a sports columnist who was still writing for the Baltimore Afro-American when he died at age 99.
Others given this year’s Pioneer Awards are:
• Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball player Jackie Robinson, who has worked to keep his legacy alive. She is vice president of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the author of seven books.
• Doc Rivers, an NBA player and championship-winning coach, who has been an advocate for the Positive Coaching Alliance that encourages coaches to emphasize positive reinforcement in all levels of sports.
• April Holmes, who lost her left leg in a train accident in 2001 but has medaled as a sprinter in the last three Paralympic Games.
• Bill Lester, who in 2011 became the first black driver to win a NASCAR race since Wendell Scott in 1963.
• Barry Cooper, a former sports reporter with the Orlando Sentinel, who was honored as the Pioneer Journalist of the Year.