Richard Lapchick, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute of Diversity and Ethics in Sport, has been hired by the National Basketball Association to analyze how recent racial comments by Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling have affected the league.
The NBA charged Sterling on Monday with damaging the league and its teams with his taped comments that were made without his consent. The league has banned the billionaire owner from the league, fined him $2.5 million, and has scheduled a June 3 vote of other team owners about forcing him to sell the Clippers.
Lapchick, who also is director of the DeVos Sport Business Management program at UCF, publishes an annual racial and gender report card on sports teams and leagues.
In 2013, the NBA received an A+ for its racial hiring practices and had the highest grade of any sports league. The report card showed that 35.7 percent of employees in the league office were people of color, and that 43 percent of the league’s teams have African-American coaches. The report said that during the 2012-13 season, African-Americans made up 76.3 percent of all players on NBA rosters.
Lapchick has worked with other sports organizations, such as NASCAR, to provide diversity training, and nearly 30 years ago started the National Consortium for Academics and Sports, a group of colleges, universities, organizations and individuals, to raise awareness of racism in sports. He is the only person named as “One of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sport” to head up a sport-management program.
Lapchick said he is donating the NBA fee to the institute and the DeVos program.